Plan We Must
At the heart of a computer-related disaster is the loss of corporate servers and their connections. With them go an enterprise’s data, internal and external links, and the vital day-to-day operations of applications such as order entry, manufacturing, and accounting. Although total disasters are rare, 50 percent of enterprises that do not have a disaster recovery plan go out of business following a disaster.
So developing a plan is essential
The broad outline of a disaster recovery plan follows common sense: 1) assess the risk, 2) develop solutions, 3) implement the plan, and 4) maintain the plan.
Of course, in practice it’s not quite that simple. For example, large enterprises with multiple locations (especially multiple IT locations) obviously have different disaster recovery requirements than small businesses.
More to the point, when developing a plan the key question to ask is “How much downtime can the company afford?” Businesses that don’t rely on computers for communications and other business transactions may be only minimally affected. Other businesses may be able to withstand a loss of server operation as long as data (and to a lesser extent application software) has been adequately protected. Other businesses must have constant real-time computer operation to survive.