Disaster Recovery Plan – The Only Way to Ensure Business Continuity

what is a disaster recovery plan - geolinks

Having a disaster recovery plan in place is one of the most essential parts of running a successful business. Just like business liability insurance, disaster recovery planning for your network ensures ongoing business continuity. Whether your disaster recovery plan is for site mirroring, load balancing or just staying online, it is the responsible thing to do for all business owners, CIOs, and IT managers.

This month, California witnessed one of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in state history – the Camp Fire. Located in the city of Paradise, California, this tragic disaster resulted in massive loss of life, structure, property, infrastructure, and habitat. Southern California also experienced two  horrific wildfires, the Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire. These fires tore through both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, taking down just near everything in their paths. Cities near the burn areas, while not officially evacuated, experienced county-wide network outages. That said, businesses with a disaster recovery plan have proven resilient. So, what exactly is a disaster recovery plan?

What is A Disaster Recovery Plan?

Disaster recovery planning entails outlining how to recover your business operations during or after a disaster. No business is immune to disaster, so having a plan in place protects your business from large financial losses, and in extreme cases, bankruptcy. While it may appear to be a daunting task, business owners will be happy they had one ready for when disaster strikes. So how do you go about planning for a disaster? First, it’s worth exploring Business Interruption insurance, this coverage insures the revenue losses a business might suffer in the case of a disaster. Next, consider following this quick checklist provided by Q Finance: The Ultimate Resource:

  • Business Impact Analysis:

    1. This is where you identify what parts of the business will be most impacted by a disaster.
    2. Calculate how much this will cost you if you lost them in a disaster for a day, a week, and two weeks.
    3. Next, identify the maximum threshold your business can tolerate before being threatened with closure.
    4. List the minimum activities required to deliver identified parts of the business.
    5. Make sure adequate resources are available to provide those activities.
  • Risk Assessment Analysis:

    1. Identify what the risks are to the organization, such as loss of staff, suppliers, IT systems, and telecommunications.
    2. List plans already in place to deal with each risk.
    3. List plans that need to be put in place to deal with each risk.
    4. Assign a “likelihood to occur” score or probability to each risk.
  • Decide on what action to take for each identified risk:

    1. Deal with a risk by planning to operate at a minimum level.
    2. Tolerate the risk if the cost of reducing operations outweighs the benefits.
    3. Transfer the risk to a third party or take out insurance.
    4. Shut down / terminate the activity.
  • Write then share the plan(s):

    1. Start by writing a general plan, then decide if you need more detailed plans within that one.
    2. Write a scope and purpose for each plan.
    3. Identify the resources and contacts that own each plan and are responsible for it.
    4. List their contact details.
    5. List tasks, processes, and procedures used to respond to an incident.
    6. For business continuity, list the identified critical activities, how to recover them, and the timeline involved.
  • Test, update, and maintain plans:

    1. Plans must be tested. That is the only way to ensure that the plan can work in the real world as well as it works on paper.
    2. Involve staff and have them go through the plan and recommend improvements.

Telecommunications and Disaster Recovery Planning

The modern world has become extremely interconnected, especially now with online transactions largely taking over physical transactions. With most business activities occurring over a telecommunications network, companies depend on the reliability of their Internet connections now more than ever for business continuity. Not having a backup Internet connection, or one that guarantees uptime and redundancy, can cause major financial losses.

For example, if a brick and mortar store or restaurant loses their Internet connection, their POS System will crash. If a businesses POS system is out of order, they will be unable to charge customers for products and services. A major disaster might mean your business is delayed or completely halted for days or weeks at a time. This is, if a proper plan is not in place.

What if you are an e-commerce company? If you lose your Internet connection you will not have access to the online orders customers are placing. Delaying processing orders will delay shipping orders, which will result in upset customers and a domino effect that is sure to affect your ability to gain new customers.

At a minimum, organizations should have a disaster recovery plan for their telecommunications infrastructure. There are several ways telecommunications companies can guarantee uptime. GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ network, for example, offers a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that guarantees 99.999% uptime. To achieve 100% uptime, businesses are able to bundle in technologies such as LTE failover.

Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Business Continuity

LTE became a reality in 2010, and it was a big deal for the telecommunications industry. It provided much-needed low-latency, high-speed, reliability and power efficiency to wireless networks. LTE networks are leaps and bounds better than their 2G/3G predecessors.

LTE is the reason why we can have a gig economy with Uber, Lyft, and delivery services like GrubHub and DoorDash. It is also a wireless equivalent to a physical line. A well-designed network utilizes various types of technologies that can be depended on during different situations. For example, GeoLinks’ dedicated fixed wireless network, ClearFiber™, is connected to a fiber-optic backbone, and has the ability to failover to a LTE connection. Switching over to LTE is not like switching over to traditional mobile networks. Its low latency and fast speeds provide you with uninterrupted service, especially in times of disaster.

GeoLinks is proud to report our network has remained connected during California’s catastrophic fires. In fact, we are honored to be servicing CAL FIRE and Red Cross Evacuation Centers across Ventura County. If there is one thing California businesses should take away from the new year-round fire season, it’s that you must have a disaster recovery plan in place. At the bare minimum, have a plan for your telecommunications infrastructure and how to connect to the Internet.

To learn more about GeoLinks Disaster Recovery Solutions, call and talk to one of the GeoLinks’ team members today! (888) 225-1571