Whenever accidents, disasters and natural events interrupt business activities, one this is certain: businesses lose money. How much money often depends on how prepared companies are for dealing with business interruptions. A current, well-planned and well-rehearsed disaster recovery plan often spells the difference between smoothly and quickly returning to business as usual or reeling from the devastating repercussions for months or even years.
Any event that interrupts business due to the loss or denial of information required for normal operations qualifies as a disaster. A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a blueprint for recovering from these events. It does not seek to duplicate a business. Rather, its intent is to increase the chances of survival and to decrease the effects of the loss.
Disaster recovery planning is not a trivial process. In addition to the extensive set of tasks that should be performed, it is filled with potential pitfalls that even the best-meaning, intelligent people in the organization can overlook. Regardless of whether the plan is developed using internal expertise, external professionals can help. DRP is an essential process for companies. Simply put, it just might be a matter of corporate survival.
Besides the standard reasons, legal requirements, customer opinions, competitive edge, responsibility to stockholders and employees, and other frequently touted justifications, why bother with DRP? Disaster recovery and contingency planning are not just for big business. They are not just for data centers or networks. Every business including personal business can benefit from the reasons not often considered.
The basic elements preceding and supporting recovery preparedness make good and economic business sense. Usually with less start-up effort than anticipated, disaster recovery planning can improve the business, reduce recurring problems and, through reduced downtimes and better managed processes, should pay for itself.