A DR plan is something that cannot be implemented overnight. A typical DR project can take anywhere between 3 months and 1 year or more to complete. So, where to start? The first major task in any disaster recovery project involves identifying the business functions in the organization that require DR planning.

preparing for disaster recovery

Assuming you are starting from scratch, you must consider 3 different starting points that depend on your time, resources, and urgency:

  • Full DR project
    Here, you jump into the big DR project. You do a Business Impact Analysis (BIA), criticality analysis, risk analysis, and specific recovery plans for IT systems. The whole project can take about 1 year to be completed.

If you don’t have time to wait until the full DR is ready, you have two other options (that can later be part of the full DR Plan):

  • Short-term Project
    You might decide to build an Emergency Operations Plan first, in case a disaster occurs before you complete the main DR plan. This plan establishes the command-and-control structure and a communicationsplan without any actual recovery procedures — this plan can help you identify and document management structures and communications that need to take place during a disaster.
  • Interim DR Plan
    The Interim DR plan addresses specific steps. These allow you to get the IT systems that support critical business processes up and running as soon as possible. An Interim DR Plan isn’t a full plan, and it does not replace one, but it does provide you with some security, in case of a disaster strikes before you finish the full DR plan.

To put one of these approaches into place, you should ask yourself how well you know your assets and internal team’s business continuity skills so that you may decide if this task can be entailed internally or if you should get external help from certified specialists.

If you move forward with a full DR plan, then you should start with a Business Impact Analysis (BIA). A BIA is a detailed inventory of the primary processes, systems, assets, people, and suppliers that are associated with an organization’s main business activities.

The core purpose of a Business Impact Analysis is to identify which processes and systems are the most critical to the survival of an organization.

Some of the key areas addressed by BIA are:

  • To identify the main disasters (man-made, natural, cybersecurity attacks) and their frequency ;
  • To understand how disasters may affect the organization and the business;
  • To identify the relevance of the Contact Center for the business operations (For how long can my contact center be down? A few minutes?  A few hours? 1 day? The higher the downtime, the more critical for the business, and the higher the allocation of resources);
  • To shape the budget to invest in contingency;
  • To carefully undertake a risk analysis: to list possible disaster scenarios and respective probability of occurrence (and how to mitigate vulnerabilities);
  • To validate Government regulations;
  • To define some goals, namely, maximum tolerated downtime and recovery objectives: Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO);
  • To know the right people to involve in the process;
  • To find internal sponsorship (not only budget, but also people).

Streamlining all these steps can be a difficult task. If you would like to know more about the discussed approaches and business strategies to empower your current, contact center in disaster scenarios do not hesitate to contact us.

Solutions can range from a simple overflow of calls to the cloud…to a full DR solution with lower RPO and RTO.

> If you would like to know more information about Disaster Recovery, namely on Contact Centers’ survivability in case of catastrophes, do not miss the opportunity to watch our webinar on the topic!

You can also read our previous articles on the topic, namely:

– Is your IT team ready for disaster recovery?
– When should a DR Plan be activated?
– How Collab uses and adapts Microsoft Azure technology to overcome the challenges of a disaster