Disaster recovery planning is a necessary part of business planning, but it involves more than just preparing for the worst-case scenario. Building resilient infrastructure and technology is just as important. By taking this approach, a company ensures that it has the means to respond and adapt to sudden, unpredictable events no matter their origin.
When considering disaster recovery planning and a company’s technology, consider ways to develop resilience as well. Should the unthinkable happen, it might be what allows a company to survive.
What Is Resilient Infrastructure? An Ounce of Prevention
Most business literature defines resilience as the ability to quickly respond and adapt to significant events without suffering disruptions to core business functions. Infrastructure resilience refers to the ability of an organization’s technological or personnel assets to withstand disruptions or disaster. In other words, in the event of a disaster, a business remains operational even if it’s operating in an altered state.
Resilient infrastructure helps businesses respond and adapt to rapid, unpredictable changes in an environment or market. While it’s not possible to predict or avoid every change or disaster that might occur, building resilient infrastructure makes it possible to withstand a much broader array of scenarios. That can dramatically reduce the impacts and costs associated with an event, whether it’s a global virus outbreak that hampers supply chains or a tornado that damages the office.
Building resilient infrastructure is critical for a robust disaster recovery plan.
How to Build Infrastructure That Supports Disaster Recovery
A solid disaster recovery plan protects a company’s infrastructure—the technological, social, and physical assets upon which it relies to function. However, when designed with resilience in mind, infrastructure supports disaster recovery and business continuity.
Many offices strategize solutions to optimize workflows, security, and efficiency. Include resilience alongside these priorities to ensure a company can withstand whatever the future holds.
1. Create a Business Continuity Management Policy Now
According to Nationwide, 68 percent of small business owners don’t have a disaster recovery plan. That’s dangerous.
Get started planning and preparing now—there’s no time like the present. A business continuity management policy lays out the roles, responsibilities, and procedures necessary for ensuring business survival. At a bare minimum, this includes:
- Establishing a disaster response and recovery team: FEMA recommends that small businesses establish a dedicated team of personnel who oversee all disaster response and recovery activities. This keeps efforts centralized and communication organized. A company’s disaster response and recovery procedures should cover both IT infrastructure and physical or personnel infrastructure.
- Compliance oversight: Depending on the industry, compliance violations can prove costly. Identify whose responsibility it is to ensure compliance and identify specific responsibilities.
- A business resumption plan: Returning to normal operations as soon as possible is a top priority in disaster recovery. Articulate the specific steps to regain critical business technology needed to operate.
2. Understand Future Hazards
Resilient infrastructure anticipates hazards and creates resources designed to manage them. For example, an urgent care facility may build into its resilience plan procedures for handling a contagious outbreak. Likewise, a SaaS-based business will need robust measures to ensure cybersecurity and maximum uptime.
However, look beyond just the hazards of the industry or business. Companies in areas prone to certain natural disasters may wish to anticipate potential damages brought by tornadoes or wildfires. Likewise, specific industries with known physical hazards might build a plan to mitigate possible employee injuries.
3. Build Redundancies Into a System
Disaster rarely affects just one part of a business. Therefore, build redundancies into the infrastructure by eliminating silos or department boundaries that can result in a single point of failure. Consider:
- Cross-training employees on essential parts of the business
- Encouraging inter-department collaboration on projects
- Empowering departments with IT knowledge
- Partnering with multiple vendors offering the same supplies or components to diversify the supply chain
4. Make Backups a Priority
In the highly digital era, many companies operate electronically. While that brings critical acceleration to business processes, it also amplifies other threats. For example, ransomware attacks can easily wipe out company records. Likewise, destroyed machines can eliminate the software a company needs to operate.
Make regularly scheduled backups a priority for all essential data. Strongly consider an off-site, cloud-based solution as well as local solutions to minimize impacts on any one physical location.
5. Test Infrastructure and Plans Frequently
A good business continuity plan is one that’s tested and adapted frequently. Teams should have a comfortable grasp of procedures and policies to make it easier to act during a real event. Likewise, roleplaying or simulating disasters can help spot unconsidered aspects of a company’s infrastructure or its disaster response plans.
Likewise, perform frequent assessments of the company’s infrastructure. By being aware of potential future hazards and possible single points of failure, a company enjoys increased resilience.
Enjoy Smart Disaster Recovery With CDS
Disaster recovery is a fundamental part of business planning, but it includes more than just how to respond to a disaster. Smart business owners embrace resilient infrastructure to help support disaster recovery. With this approach, a company becomes more adaptive and responsive to situations as they arise. In a world of increasing uncertainty and volatility, that’s a valuable characteristic that may help a business survive.
CDS works with businesses to develop resilient, effective infrastructure. Start a conversation now to get started.