When COVID-19 hit, it had a huge impact on businesses. In fact, the majority of companies had to pivot quickly to maintain business continuity. There were many companies that didn’t have a disaster recovery plan in place. That’s why, partnering with a managed IT services provider, like Docutrend can be an affordable and effective way to back up your corporate data and ensure quick disaster recovery in the event of a natural disaster or another disruptive incident. Let’s look at ways in which a provider can assist with creating a disaster recovery plan in particular.

Crafting an introduction

Your managed services partner can help you write an introduction portion of the plan. A plan can spell out what conditions will be defined as a disaster. This could range from a short power disruption to a major natural disaster such as an earthquake or a business shut down due to a pandemic. The introduction may also detail:

  • The desired time period for restoring functionality
  • The level of functionality considered to be an initial recovery
  • A distribution list by name or job function
  • The version number and date of the most current plan
  • The areas that are not covered in the disaster recovery plan, but rather a separate business continuity plan
  • Outlining teams and responsibilities

Your services partner can also play an important role in outlining recovery teams and responsibilities. The teams may be entirely internal, but with a managed services partner in place, some of the teams may belong to the vendor. This section of the document should define:

  • The teams, such as the management team, facilities team, network team, and server team
  • Members of the teams
  • Team and member roles and responsibilities
  • Disaster recovery teams can be assigned for different tasks

Establishing a call tree

Your provider can also use its expertise to help you create a call tree. A call tree identifies individuals to be notified based on criteria like incident severity, impacted systems, and time elapsed. This section of the disaster recovery plan should list out contact information for critical personnel—including alternative phone numbers (office, home, mobile, etc.) when available—as well as emergency responders. A good starting point for creating the call tree may be the teams and responsibilities section discussed above.

Determining recovery facilities

Organizations can also leverage the managed services provider’s expertise to determine where employees and others should go in the event of a disaster. In some disaster situations, existing facilities can be used during the recovery process. In other situations, the facilities may be unavailable or destroyed. The following details should be addressed in this section of the plan:

  • Alternative facilities for use during the recovery process, including locations recommended by the managed services vendor
  • Maps and directions to off-site locations
  • Plan for notifying employees of the recovery facility
  • Maintaining critical operations

Docutrend can also help companies ascertain how to continue critical operations in the business. While a disaster or ongoing outage can severely impact a business’s overall ability to proceed, there are certain operations that should be prioritized for continuity. These include accounting; payroll; order entry; fulfillment; and communication with staff, vendors, and customers. The disaster recovery plan should include methods for continuing these functions.

Restoring IT and facilities functionality

The managed services provider can also offer valuable insight around restoring IT and other vital functions to a business. This can complement input from the client on the criticality of each phase of the recovery undertaking. All of this information can be used to create a plan for establishing the order of function restoration.

3 takeaways

  • A managed services provider can help organizations with many aspects of a disaster recovery plan, including drafting an introduction, description of teams and responsibilities, and call tree.
  • The managed services provider likely has significant expertise and/or resources to contribute to the plan, including knowledge of alternative facilities for use during an emergency.
  • The provider’s insight can also help form a plan for prioritizing critical operations for maintenance and restoration.
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