Preparing For a Hurricane: Disaster Recovery Planning
Natural disasters often strike with little to no warning, but their operational and economic impact to an organization can be devastating. In an unpredictable world, investment firms can never be too prepared. And in the high-stakes industry of investment management, downtime is not an option.
With the upcoming hurricane hitting the Northeast, we thought it was time to freshen up on some key disaster recovery and business continuity preparation questions you should consider:
A business continuity plan typically identifies a few key individuals who will activate at the plan. Will these individuals be available to execute the necessary steps? Often the BCP owners are also members of the management team who travel frequently. Now is the time to ensure they will be available to execute their BCP responsibilities.
How will you communicate business continuity plans to employees during off hours? Will you use a call tree or an automated notification system?
If your office loses power or employees lose power at their homes, is there a central meeting location from which they can work? Hotels typically have generators and Internet/wireless access so they are ideal alternative employee meeting spots. Budget permitting, book a meeting room from which employees can work. Be sure to have a list of target hotels so you’re not scrambling to find a location at the last minute.
What type of employee assistance will you offer should a catastrophic event occur? How will employees access this assistance (i.e. call HR or go to third-party)?
Which employees are traveling and may be stranded in remote locations due to airport or other transportation related closings? What type of assistance will be provided to them?
ECI delivers Disaster Recovery via our Private Cloud or Microsoft Azure providing flexibility and unlimited capacity. Whether you go private or public, we ensure that your firm’s business operations can resume quickly and seamlessly in the event of an outage or disaster. Plus, it will put your investors at ease knowing your firm's—and your clients’—data and assets are always protected. ECI’s team is available 24x7x365 to ensure business operations resume quickly should an incident occur at any time.
Along with the above questions, your firm must also consider the two most important factors associated with disaster recovery planning; recovery point objective (RPO) and the recovery time objective (RTO).
Recovery Point Objective
The RPO is the point in time to which a firm must recover data as defined by the organization. In other words, the RPO is what an organization determines is an “acceptable loss” in a disaster situation. The RPO dictates which replication method will be required (i.e. nightly backups, snapshots, continuous replication).
Recovery Time Objective
The RTO is the duration of time and a service level within which a business process must be restored after a disruption in order to avoid unacceptable losses. RTO begins when a disaster hits and does not end until all systems are up and running.
Business continuity planning and disaster recovery have individual focuses, but they ultimately share the same goal: preparing businesses for potential disasters and ensuring those businesses are able to recover quickly and sustain minimal losses.
Finally, remember that clear communication is critical to ensure all your preparation pays off.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated and was originally published in September 2017