Re: Disaster recovery plan

Subject: Re: Disaster recovery plan
From: Elizabeth Sotallaro <esotal -at- CONWAYCORP -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 10:35:22 -0500

The points Dan, Beth, and Elna made about *recovery* are well taken, and
all the information given is good for creating a DR plan.

Remember also that a well crafted plan should address risk mitigation.
BC methodology says a first step is identification of critical business
information (not everything the company does is worth "protecting"
against disaster) and possible risks. Once those risks are ranked by
possibility/severity, a good plan identifies ways to mitigate possible
problems as a method to control extensive recovery.

Many times the cost of mitigation is much less than the cost of
recovery, and executive management looks to the plan to identify these
possible savings.

This leads to my next point: It's beneficial (or essential, depending on
your point of view) to have a corporate disaster recovery plan, but how
committed is management? The main point of the plan is to recover the
business in case of disaster, but if management is creating the plan
only to satisfy someone else's requirement, the plan will not meet its

You should be in close touch with a management champion or committee to
ensure the plan you write has corporate financial and implementation
support. Working with the champion/committee ensures the plan can be
tested and updated regularly and frequently (also essential for a
complete and successful plan).

Finally, a small story about details in DR planning:

There once was a rather large publishing company who had a complete
recovery plan for their IS department. A full disaster occurred, but
the IS department was recovered within the predefined recovery window.
The computers were back up and running, churning out their volumes of
printed data for the company to use in its daily business.

But, the total recovery effort failed. For two days, computer-generated
reports stacked up in piles around the makeshift production area. The
company couldn't get back on track with its daily activities (dependent
upon the computer reports) because an older gentleman who worked in the
mail department hadn't been called back in to work during the disaster
and its recovery.

Turns out he was the *only one* who knew where, how, and when the
various reports should be delivered....

Elizabeth Sotallaro (501) 329-0958
JS&A Consulting (501) 329-0012 (fax)
mailto:esotal -at- conwaycorp -dot- net

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