Business continuity and disaster recovery are no longer just optional for today’s companies; it is a must. When disaster strikes or accidents happen, a good disaster recovery plan can help you and your business get back on your feet in no time, minimizing the risks of damaging your reputation, turning off customers, losing sales, or getting slapped with lawsuits. This is why a disaster recovery consulting firm or consultant is needed.
A good disaster recovery plan and strategy needs a competent leader in order to be formulated, created, tested and implemented. And it is always a good idea to find somebody from within the organization to be in charge of disaster recovery. If you have a staffer who has proven experience in leading business continuity plans in the past, then give that person a chance to shine.
However, if you do not have anyone on staff with previous experience from a company in the same industry and of the same size as yours, your best bet is to hire a disaster recovery consulting firm.
A good disaster recovery consulting firm can help you in the following ways:
- Disaster recovery consulting firms and consultants can help you come up with a roadmap and strategy for business continuity and strategy. The consultant will look at your current infrastructure, staff, applications, and data, and see how a disaster could impact your business as well as see what you need to recover from one. A consultant will also be able to help you define the business and IT requirements to make disaster recovery a less painful process.
- Disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you design a recovery infrastructure and then implement it. They can also render services that would help ensure that your most important applications are quickly back online. For instance, your disaster recovery consulting professionals could also provide database consulting services to help ensure that your database is safe in the event of a disaster.
- Disaster recovery consulting firms can help you test your disaster recovery plan. The most disastrous thing that could happen to a business is to have a plan and then find out none of it works when a disaster strikes. A consultant can help you define a test plan that would allow you to check if everything goes as planned. Testing your business continuity plans will not only involve validating if the procedures and strategies you have will help you get back on track when emergencies happen.This is a very important area because businesses nowadays deal with distributed and Web-based applications. That means that you have data, files, applications and databases in different locations – not just onsite. This makes it very complicated, as you would need to test your disaster recovery plans and strategies more often instead of the customary once or twice in a year.
- A consultant can help you assign responsibilities to the right people. Disaster recovery involves several processes and the disaster recovery consulting professional can help identify people and their roles in the recovery, testing and other parts of the disaster recovery process.This is a very important step that most organizations tend to overlook. Who will be in charge of pre-testing procedures and requirements? Who will conduct the actual tests? Who should initiate the disaster recovery process? Who will be in charge of storage administration?
Additionally, and most importantly, who will sell the disaster recovery plan to the organization? Most businesses take it for granted that senior management would be the ones who would be responsible in engaging the rest of the organization in the disaster recovery plan. But being able to pinpoint the right people to do the different tasks involved in the process will help increase that engagement.
In line with this, a disaster recovery consulting professional can also help identify who will train the people with regards to the business continuity plan. A consultant can also provide the training and tools, and mentor your staff to help them become more comfortable with the process. Perhaps employees need training in backing up their files, and other tools they need to learn.
Furthermore, the disaster recovery consultant will be able to pinpoint areas that need more focus. For instance, if you do not have a competent database administrator on staff, they can provide database consulting services or find firms that could do that for you.
- Consultants can help you assess your plan. If you already have a disaster recovery plan in place, a disaster recovery consulting firm can help you review your plan, testing results, audits, and other documentation to see whether your recovery plan sufficiently protects you from prolonged unforeseen outages. They will also interview key people to give you a maturity assessment to see how well you are doing in relation to other companies in your industry.Similar to other consultants, a disaster recovery consulting firm gives you the chance to use their expertise and knowledge in helping you improve a particular business process. They can help pinpoint weaknesses in your current disaster recovery plan and how to correct these. They could also assist you formulate a disaster recovery strategy and come up with a plan.
They can also help you test everything to make sure everything goes right. And most importantly, they can help train people on how to best implement your disaster recovery measures. Moreover, these professionals would have extensive experience in creating disaster recovery strategies for businesses that are of the same size and works within the same industry as yours.
Four Cornerstone can help you with your disaster recovery and business continuity processes. The firm can act as a disaster recovery consultant for your business. We can also provide you with supplementary services such as database consulting to make it easier on your part. You now have one neck to choke when it comes to your disaster recovery operations.
Call Four Cornerstone at (817) 377-1144 or fill out our short contact form to get started today.
Photo courtesy of Kjetil Korslien.