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Risk Management: Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan

Story Date: Monday, October 24, 2011

For proactive businesses, guarding against the unforeseen in an effort to avoid disruptions in daily operations and/or data loss requires a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan (DRBCP).  Disaster Recovery focuses on protecting data and returning a business IT environment to the pre-disaster event.  A Business Continuity Plan establishes a process to keep the business running in addition to detailing when services such as phones and e-mail need to be restored.

How does a business get started?  The first step in setting up a DRBCP is for an organization or business to identify the vulnerabilities it may have to all internal and external threats that could interrupt its business systems.

"The needs of a DRBCP plan are different for every customer," says Jeff Mattes, SSR Client Partnership Manager.  "That is why it is critical for business executives to work with all departments to determine what kind of plan is necessary and which systems and business units are most critical to the company's sustainability."

In Milwaukee, the office of the Employee Retirement System is responsible for distribution of the city's pension plan to more than 12,000 retirees.  Their staff was already involved in setting up a disaster recovery solution, but called in SSR to formalize the plan.

"We worked with Dan Popp, SSR Operations manager, to document the DRBCP," says Kelly Reid, chief technology officer for Employee Retirement System.  "He came in with guidelines and standards and over a 10-week period, he coordinated the entire solution."

DRBCP provides policies, procedures and a roadmap to the recovery of information technology and core business processes if such an event occurs.  It also offers peace of mind that a customer's risk is diminished against sudden or unexpected losses.

Even though most business should have a DRBCP plan in place, many of them are not prepared. 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster.  Some companies find it difficult to dedicate the time and resources to coordinate a solution.  Others say it can be a challenge to maintain a plan while trying to keep up with business operations and technology changes.

SSR offers both planning and solutions.  SSR assists an organization with building  functional DRBCP plans, security assessments, data loss or single-point of failure risk analysis as well as strategic planning for IT.  In addition, SSR's data center offerings include solution for replicating part or full customer environments to alternate sites, offsite storage solutions, online backup solutions and traditional disk-to-disk and tape back-up solutions.

For more about SSR risk management solutions, contact your SSR representative.

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