OK, now that I have your attention, Let’s talk about disaster preparedness and recovery. No, Godzilla is not attacking the city, but disaster does come in many forms and it can be natural or human-triggered. Disaster can come in the forms of fire, flood, earthquake, or even a disgruntled employee. All of these can cause disruption and chaos in your business.
We often hear the term disaster recovery in relation to information management, but the fact is if you have to recover, the disaster has already happened. The real question now is, were you prepared? Do you have a disaster preparedness plan and if so, is it up-to-date?Disaster preparedness should be part of an overarching information governance (IG) policy that includes guidelines on secure access, privacy protection, retention, legal discovery, legal hold, and back up and recovery procedures.
Developing a disaster preparedness plan requires businesses to identify their critical business information – information required to keep the business running. Once this information is identified, it must be prioritized for recovery – what is needed first and what can wait until later. Alternative information management practices should be designed to ensure that information is readily available should disaster strike. For example, recovery of sales and financial information would take priority over pending employee applications in human resources (HR). Additionally, there must be alternative processes and methods designed to capture this information, record it properly, and prepare it for import should that need arise.
In My View
Information restoration processes must be designed and employees need to be trained in what steps are to be taken, technology to be used, and the “we’re live” criteria to be operational during the event. If the back-up files are maintained offsite, who is responsible for acquiring them and bringing them into the system? Who in the business unit is responsible for validating the completeness and integrity of the restored information? What measures will you take to audit and validate data and information collected and distributed during the event.
Disaster preparedness should be an integral part of your overall governance program with emphasis on business continuity not just recovery. Planning and preparation by design minimizes disaster impact and recovery times. This may be a good time to assess how cloud applications will benefit your operations in times of disastrous events. No matter what your approach is, the key is to have something in place before Godzilla strikes and you realize you cannot run your business.
Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.