Continuity Planning 101 - A Continuing Educational Series A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Disaster Preparedness

Continuity Planning 101 - A Continuing Educational Series A Day Late and a Dollar Short

By Rich Tehrani, CEO, Technology Marketing Corporation  |  October 01, 2011

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY

A one-day delay in implementing a disaster recovery/response plan is going to cost a lot more than a dollar. Delays of even a few hours could be very costly, and lengthy delays could devastate a business. Yet despite today’s wide array of highly evolved DR choices, delays continue to occur.

A major factor is preparedness. Hot failovers to DR sites deploy automatically, but people are not machines or robots. DR situations are rare occurrences for most organizations. Even with regular training drills, employees may be a little fuzzy on the plan details; plus they may not have the latest documentation handy. Automated alerts are incorporated in most DR plans, but in an emergency like a security breach or major disaster, some or all of those may be blocked.  Plus, landline communications, mobile services and e-mails could also be compromised.

The key is to plan for the unexpected and incorporate alternative options. Consider hosted services as an option for customer premises equipment, particularly for critical business functions and communications. This is also a great way to provide for immediate and secure access to the latest DR plan documentation. If full migration to a hosted model is not an option, many service providers offer inexpensive DR back-up packages for data and popular CPE applications.

Do not forget legacy technologies. Fax has always been a key component of disaster plans and is very secure. Service providers even offer hybrid DR options for some popular fax server applications. SMS is a great communications tool but considered a security risk. However, in a recent interview with Erik Linask (News - Alert), William J. Marlow, the CEO/CTO of Protected Mobility, discussed how that company’s ProtectedSMS product is used by organizations like law enforcement that require the highest security level. Flash drives are a good way to make sure employees have the latest DR plan documentation. They are portable and reliable, and standard password/encryption technology makes them reasonably secure. 

The most critical factor, however, is to have a DR plan in place. Do you? 

Max Schroeder (News - Alert) is senior vice president of FaxCore Inc. and managing director of the DPCF. 

Rich Tehrani is CEO of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world’s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO (News - Alert)). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.

Edited by Jennifer Russell