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Document Management is a Cornerstone of Disaster Recovery

A “cornerstone” is an important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based.

  • In architecture, the cornerstone is the first stone to be laid and the remainder of the building is measured from this point with confidence that its position is correct.
  • A religious organization will refer to a higher power that they choose to follow as their cornerstone.
  • The cornerstone of life is the primary reference point which determines your position and character. It’s the source of meaning and purpose.

Document management is the cornerstone of disaster recovery. Everyone hopes that they will never have to deal with a disaster on a scale that requires a disaster recovery plan. Unfortunately, some have a false hope that makes them ignore the possibility and not be prepared. A well-structured disaster recovery plan will ensure continuity in your business and preservation of valuable data in the event of a disaster, which could include any one or more of the following:

  • Natural disasters
  • Cyberattacks
  • Hardware failures

Partnering with a professional records management company will help your company prepare for a disaster, and a disaster recovery plan is central to your preparations. Here’s a strategy to help make that happen.

1. Risk Assessment

Identify critical components. Begin by conducting a risk assessment to identify any possible threats to your document management system. Identify critical components of your document management system that are essential for maintaining normal operations. Prioritize the protection of your documents in your recovery plan. Hurricane Sandy damaged businesses throughout the Northeastern states in 2012. Companies without proper disaster recovery plans faced significant data loss and downtime. Companies with a plan in place were able to restore operations and minimize damage.

2. Recovery Objectives

What is your recovery time objective and recovery point objective from your document management system?

  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO): the maximum amount of time your business can be without access to your documents before extreme consequences occur.
  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO): the maximum amount of data loss your business can handle.

Knowing these will assist you with developing a recovery plan.

3. Backup Strategy

Put together a strong backup strategy to protect your document management system. Implement a combined on-site and off-site backup system which should include electronic vaulting. Test backups regularly for functionality.

4. Disaster Recovery Plan

Create an outline of detailed steps for recovery. Include each step required to:

  • Restore data from backups
  • Bring systems back online
  • Reestablish network connections

Familiarize all staff members with the plan, providing them with the necessary resources.

5. Communication

Since clear communication is crucial during a crisis, a plan should be in place that will clarify the process of notifying:

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Vendors

Communicating updates during the recovery process will help avoid misinformation and provide them with confidence in you and your company. It will minimize potential trust issues. Assigning staff members specific responsibilities will help streamline the process.

6. Test

Put your disaster recovery plan to the test on a regular basis and eliminate any issues that arise. Simulating various disasters will improve your readiness.

7. Train

Make sure that the disaster recovery plan is fresh in everyone’s mind. Don’t just teach it once; make it a regular part of staff training meetings.

8. Share

Your plan should be accessible to all staff. Utilize several formats, such as:

  • Storing on a shared drive
  • Physical printed copies
  • Cloud-based platform

Even a recovery plan that is never used can be an effective one. Despite all of the work required to create, train, ready and keep it updated, it is better to never need to implement it than to need it and not have it—or have a plan that doesn’t work. Partnering with a records management company will better prepare you for a disaster.

Records Management Center offers complete records and information management solutions for businesses and organizations in Augusta, Evans, Thomson, and Martinez, GA, Aiken, SC, and the Central Savannah River Areas. Our records management experts help you protect your records and be ready should a disaster occur. For more information, call us at 706-724-7982 or complete the form on this page. Our experts are ready to help!