A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is one of those important things a company must have but hopes to never need to use. A well-defined plan will let people know how to respond in emergency situations. This brings us to the importance of clearly defining each of the topics to be addressed in the DR Plan activation.
When a catastrophe occurs, the outage time frame depends on alerts received, when the company is aware of a disaster, and on the process of deciding to go ahead with the DR plan.
What is a DR Plan?
The DR plan is the set of documents that describe a post-disaster emergency response, damage assessment, and system restart for designated critical business processes.
One of the things mentioned in the plan is about “becoming aware of the problem”. Everyone can give an alert for a failure or for a disaster. In case of a solution that has limited monitoring capabilities, the people that will most certainly notice the problem and give an alert will be the agents and the supervisors. On the other hand, if you have a high-end or cloud solution with a dedicated DevOps Team, they will certainly be the first to know about the potential problem.
DR Plan activation
Activation is the process of initiating the actions contained in the DRP document. Related activities and procedures must consider a variety of requirements, including life safety and effective communication, in order to guarantee prompt activation.
After being alerted, how does a company decide when to jump into the DR process? How can you be sure that your DR plan activation procedures are sufficiently relevant, realistic, and actionable? There are a few questions that need to be answered before activating the plan:
- Is it really needed?
- Is it only an intermittent failure on communications?
- Does the failure only affect part of the contact center?
In these cases, is it worth disrupting the entire operation and migrating to a DR? In fact, this is the big question, and you need to have a lot of good information in advance to make any decision. And how do you make your decision?
Disaster Declaration Procedure: the decision-making process!
Typically, in the disaster declaration procedure (part of the DR Plan in which the procedures to make a decision are described) you can define several processes. We mention here two of them:
Declaration by consensus
In this scenario, you need a core team (decision makers). When a disaster occurs, the team members contact one another and perhaps convene a conference call, if they can. When the majority of core members agree that the organization should start the disaster recovery plan, they make that decision and act.
Declaration by criteria
Another possibility is what we call the declaration by criteria. Here, you have the same core team. When an event occurs, one or more of them reads a short checklist, which might be a series of Yes or No questions. If Yes answers reach a threshold, the team declares a disaster procedure that triggers the DR plan.
Despite the decision process, the most important is to have the technical information as early as possible, and this depends on technology and the teams’ expertise!
In the end of the day, follow your DR plan, namely the Disaster Declaration Procedure, and everything will be okay! But if you have any questions considering this matter, do not hesitate to contact the Collab Team. We’re here to help!
> 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!