17 September 2018

For some businesses, voice communication is their lifeline for successful day-to-day operation. So, when disaster strikes, it’s important to have a recovery plan in place to keep your business communicating.

Here are our top five tips when it comes to voice communications disaster recovery planning

 1. Business and IT Need to be Linked

When creating a disaster recovery plan, best practice needs to be prioritised over cost. 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.

 2. Keep the Disaster Recovery Plan Current

The disaster recovery plan should be at the front of the IT department’s minds and should be updated regularly – 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.

 3. Test the Disaster Recovery Plan

To ensure that the disaster recovery 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.

 4. 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.

 5. Clearly Define Disaster Recovery Responsibilities

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-standard like operation. Each person involved with 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 preparation of process.