We look at how organizations can create a disaster recovery plan and turn it into a company-wide policy. Before you can implement a disaster recovery strategy for your IT infrastructure, you've got to create an official plan.
Once you've met with key stakeholders and identified potential disaster scenarios, such as the loss of critical applications and data that could bring the organization to a standstill (and possible demise), your plan still has to be documented.
You need to cut the meat from the fat when identifying which components of an infrastructure absolutely must be available in time of a disaster. Cloud-based Mail and Storage Cloud-based email services are available that not only can mirror existing e-mail systems, but can also comply with HIPAA and other e-mail regulations where required.
This critical document should detail every conceivable emergency that could reasonably befall your organization, pinpoint mission-critical applications and systems, and be signed off by all key figures in your organization—including executive management, human resources, and those responsible for facility management. It's important to have a concrete plan in a concise, written format to distribute to staff, so that no one is left in the dark when it comes to knowing what to do in the event of disaster.

This spotlights the importance of an up-to-date inventory assessment of hardware and software. For example, a database that's used to track sales leads may not be crucial in a disaster but, for a healthcare facility, a database listing all current patients is. Many of these email providers can also implement data governance over email communications for a business such as a law firm, which may need to mark certain communications as confidential or highly sensitive or may need to ensure that only certain staff members receive certain email communications. To guide you through creating the plan, here is a checklist of what an effective plan should contain. Know every piece of software or hardware running in the infrastructure, including anything virtualized. Email may be needed to communicate with staff status updates and procedures, especially if employees are forced to remain off-site. If an organization has never shifted any business processes to a cloud-computing model, this may be a good time to consider doing so.

It pays to not only invest in a good asset-management solution, but also to keep a log file on all software and updates.
Which components are important depends on the nature of the business, but, whatever they are, they should be listed and included in the plan. While line-of-business applications may require more planning, or they may be to complex to easily move to the cloud, e-mail and storage are good candidates for a move to the cloud. This way you not only know what the entire IT inventory is in case of loss from a disaster, but you can compile a list and check off which systems absolutely must remain operational during a crisis, and which you can live without temporarily.

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