Essentials to creating a Disaster Recovery plan for your eCommerce site

Introduction

Close up on a red panic button with the text Distaster Recovery with blur effect. Concept image for illustration of DRP, business continuity and crisis communication.

As a business owner, it is one of your primary responsibilities to device a contingency plan that could be reached out to in case of any Disaster that could be reached out to seek assistance on recovering critical business functions and to ensure continuity of your business.

A typical Disaster Recovery Plan helps us to fore see threats and develop alternative courses of action to minimise the loss and to resume critical business activities as soon as possible.

In today’s post, we will highlight some of the important aspects that must be considered while designing a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plan for your eCommerce store.

Important aspects of a Disaster Recovery

Impact Analysis

The first and foremost step for a successful DR plan is to understand the impact of a disaster on critical business functions. In this phase, we need to classify the intensity of the risk into various levels and evaluate the extent of impact each of them have on the functioning of the organisation.

Inventory, hardware and software

Safeguarding inventory, hardware, software and other assets must be your top most priority in the event of a disaster.It would be a good idea to maintain details such as vendor contacts for technical support, stock storage and safety precautions etc. in the DR and continuity plan. In the event of an emergency, these details will you to contact the concerned parties in a timely manner and understand how to recover from the disaster with least impact on the assets involved.

Tolerance limits for downtime and data loss

While planning for disaster recovery one must also understand our risk appetite and the extent of loss that we can tolerate. By defining tolerance limits, we can analyse the extent to which we can take a risk and there by devise the required plans. Two important metrics,called the Acceptable recovery Point objective (RPO) and the Recovery Time Objective (RTO), will help us in defining our tolerance limits.

Responsibility Matrix

Responsibility and ownership plays a very crucial role at the time of recovery. A DR plan must clearly define all the parties involved during a recovery event and their roles and responsibilities. This step makes the DR process efficient and smooth as all the parties involved are clear about their roles and responsibilities.

Communication Plan

An open line of communication becomes critical at the time of disaster recovery for communicating all the events right from the onset of the disaster. All primary and alternative contact information of all the concerned employees, vendors and suppliers must be maintained in the DR plan to keep all the parties informed in a timely manner.

Test your plan regularly

A good DR plan must be thoroughly tested before implementing it. There might be many factors that could hamper the functioning of the plan and hence it is absolutely necessary to test the plan before implementing. The testing phase also gives us an opportunity to revisit and rearrange the plan before the actual implementation.

Conclusion

An efficient DR plan must be as detailed as possible to include all the details required to minimise the effects of the disaster and to get the business up and running.  We hop we have given enough details on what to include in a typical DR Plan. If you already have a plan in place or have any suggestions. Do let us know.

Tenovia

We, Tenovians are passionate about all things eCommerce. While we aren't dabbling in our clients' eCommerce numbers and ops metrics, we keep ourselves busy learning on the latest in the industry.

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