In operationally extended organizations where more and more people work virtually, it falls to the information technology (IT) department to provide continuous, sophisticated technical infrastructure to support operations. The IT Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) provides the “supply” of the resources (hardware, firewalls and servers, access and communications, and software applications) that are in demand by the operating functions and articulated in the business continuity plan to support prioritized functional recovery after operational degradation or downtime. The process starts with a current state assessment that includes various data collection processes, on-site data center tours, inspection of infrastructure components, and the “as-installed” inventory of hardware, software inventories, and current administration/management control points such as firewalls, servers, and software installers.
The gap analysis documents differentiate between the capacity of the IT department to recover its technical environment on the one hand, and the requirements of the business process owners on the other, linking essential processes and functions and the IT resources required for threshold operation with the post-disruption recovery envisioned in the business continuity plan. The DRP integrates IT resource inventories, set-up instructions, and call lists; “run books” that include information like set-up parameters, instructions, and sign-on codes; and disaster recovery strategy options addressing elements such as software vendor “cloud” alternatives, mutual server back-up at similar sites, dual servers using WAN sync, and hot back-up at off-site locations. The DRP is tested with a facilitated, structured walk-through, failover, and tabletop exercises to help participants identify what events and activities could occur during a simulated business interruption scenario.
We provide the technical expertise to help clients align their disaster recovery capacity with the resource demands of their business continuity plans: