Steps to Implementing Disaster Recovery

There are many types of disaster recovery plans and services, from the most simple of keeping a back-up of data on a single PC to using a service that automatically backs-up all information across a major network with a supporting infrastructure to allow full operational capability when disaster strikes.

  1. You will need to structure a data retention policy. This must be constructed with the input of legal, HR (Human Resources) and IT departments. If your organisation does not have this infrastructure, then you should take specialist advice. This should be supported by an Acceptable Use Policy.
  2. You must chose a service or system that best meets your requirements and budgets.
  3. The disaster recovery plan must be taken seriously.
  4. The contingency plan or business continuity plan needs to be developed by all key operational areas of the company.
  5. The plan should include a list of potential incidents that could occur, no matter how unlikely.
  6. The next part of the plan is to prioritise which departments and information should be able to access the information first. For example, this may well be sales and support functions as they are revenue generating.
  7. Key individuals need to be allocated against each activity and they should know what to do in the event of a disaster.
  8. Once the plan has been developed, it must be tested in order to ensure that it is feasible.
  9. Key personnel should be well trained so that they can react immediately to any major issues.
  10. Any changes made to the plan must be communicated and potentially tested in order to ensure that everyone is comfortable with their roles and responsibilities.
  11. Finally, the plan needs to be kept up to date and take into account changing circumstances e.g. people leaving, joining the organisation and new IT systems being put in place.

What can I expect to gain by implementing a disaster recovery service?

This is a particular conundrum as it may well be that you will never be required to use the disaster recovery service and you hope very much that you will never need to.

However, in the event of a catastrophic incident, it could potentially pay for itself many times over. To illustrate, a taxi driver can see that paying hundreds of pounds for an insurance policy that he (hopes) will never be used is over period of years is potentially wasted money. But what happens if he has the need to invoke this policy but has not paid up?


In this case, you will only ever recognise any financial benefits in the event there is a disaster. Remember the statistic quoted from the London Chamber of Commerce.