Hurricane Season: Is Your Disaster Recovery Plan Enough?

Like any forward-thinking IT professional, you've likely brought your organization up to date with the latest disaster recovery solutions to support your systems in the event of an emergency. After all, there is no telling when a natural disaster or human error may put your tech assets out of commission and in need of recovery.

Now that hurricane season has rolled around once again, however, you need to assess your DR plans with unbridled scrutiny if you are to successfully navigate a potentially devastating storm. New Orleans news provider Nola recently warned the Atlantic coast of growing tropical formations over the next week, and many downpours have afflicted businesses throughout the summer already. Don't roll the dice when it comes to your organization's key data and applications - take the time to gauge your DR profile and make the necessary adjustments to handle a crisis situation with confidence and grace.

Keeping channels open

What is it that makes a DR strategy a resilient ally in challenging times, instead of an ineffective burden on the shoulders of IT? According to a recent blog post from The Wall Street Journal, Hurricane Sandy proved that communication is one of the defining characteristics of a winning program, with the source noting that the best plans are always mapped out far in advance. Those who wait until the middle of a disaster to construct a strategy will only end up with a haphazard blueprint that probably does more harm than good.

"Executives assume they'll figure out the details when an event takes place," David Sarabacha, a principal with Deloitte & Touche, told the source. "But if business leaders don't have sufficient lines of communication available to share information, make decisions and disseminate instructions, their ability to implement their plans will be impaired."

To create a smoother, personnel-focused recovery strategy, try tying your DR plan into an enterprise mobility initiative. This will develop more fluid channels of communication across the enterprise and ensure that everyone stays in the loop when a natural disaster throws operations out of sync.

Know where cloud fits

The Wall Street Journal made a salient point about the relationship between cloud computing and IT recovery, pointing out that many decision-makers lack a true understanding of what makes the interplay of these components so critical. Balancing on-premise assets with third-party providers' cloud units will ensure a comprehensive DR plan that doesn't rely too heavily on either type of deployment.