17 September 2018
For some businesses, voice communication is their life line for successful day-to-day operation.
Whilst you can anticipate bad weather to affect your lines, disaster can also strike when you least expect it. It can be as simple as maintenance works accidentally cutting through your lines, which can leave you without internet for a prolonged time.
Therefore, when disaster strikes, it’s important to have a voice disaster recovery (DR) plan in place to keep your business communicating. This is even more prevalent in today’s world as an increasing amount of business operations heavily rely on cloud-based apps, data networks and hosted telephony to communicate.
Read more: Why you should consider a hybrid system
Of course, there’s lots of information out there on the different disaster recovery and business continuity plans and how to write them. So much so, it’s easy to put off the actual task of writing your voice DR plan. And it’s only when disaster does strike, that you vaguely remember the plan you were intending to start a few months back!
However, in this article we give you our top tips for creating a voice DR plan which will hopefully make the process a bit easier.
- Business and IT need to be linked
When creating a DR plan, cost needs to be second priority and best practices first, because whilst responding to a disaster is an exception, preparing for it should be integrated with the day-to-day operation of the business to ensure capabilities match expectations.
- Keep the disaster recovery plan current
The DR plan should be at the front of the IT department’s minds and updates to the disaster recovery plan should be regular – every time an element within the IT environment changes. Given the dynamic nature of the IT environment, the disaster recovery plan will fail if not updated alongside change management.
- Test the disaster recovery plan
To ensure that the DR plan is effective and the recovery of the operation is successful, the plan must be tested regularly. Testing is a major challenge for most IT departments considering the operational disruption it can cause, however, true end-to-end testing will enable IT managers to find and eliminate problems in the disaster recovery plan and amend the plan accordingly with efficiency. Otherwise, if disaster recovery has not been tested all the way to application level, then it is highly likely that problems will occur.
- Have good backups
Consider what the implication may be if the backups don’t work. Tape backup, for many companies, is still the primary method for disaster recovery, especially off-site. Replication across WAN can be an alternative medium and is growing in popularity, but it can be a costly option for some businesses. The validity of application recoverability must be validated through the recovery backups at application level. .
- Clearly define disaster recovery responsibility
When disaster strikes, who will be there to recover data and initiate the disaster recovery plan? Roles and responsibilities therefore need to be clearly defined and comprehensive documentation and training to be drafted up. Disaster recovery requires organisation, co-ordination and execution, to an almost military-like standard. Each person of the recovery operation understands their job, who they have to interact with and the proper chain of command. Leverage as many resources as you can within the business – if this is not possible, it may be worth hiring a third-party service who can help in the planning and process.