DR plans impact the entire organization. So, it makes sense that IT can’t just build a plan on a proverbial island.  There are a few individuals that can help provide context and make it a success.

You’re ready to sit down and finally build a comprehensive DR plan, but you only have your own perspective to guide you.  Sure, there are lots of great best practice guides (like the one we link to at the end of this article), but you also need some practical guidance from those outside of IT to ensure the DR plan you build meets the specific needs of the business.

There are three influencers you should consult as you begin building your DR plan:

Your Executive Team

Executives are generally non-technical, and can easily be dismissed.  But they are the ones that will help you define the risk your DR plan should remediate[NC1] , provide guidance around what should take priority, and are the ones that can influence budget should it be needed to accomplish the goals of the plan.

Outside Expertise

Despite your years of IT experience, you still don’t measure up in expertise to the DR consultant or cloud service provider that has performed hundreds or thousands of recoveries [NC2] in a wide range of disruption scenarios. These folks will be one of your most beneficial influencers, helping to marry your institutional knowledge about the data, systems, and applications you know better than anyone with their first-hand intimate understanding of how DR plays out in the real world.

Your Users

You read that right – your non-technical users can have a massive influence on the success of a DR plan.  Remember that the goal is not just restore data, an application, or a service; it’s to restore operations.  That means you need to include plans of both how to get users connected to and operational on your recovery infrastructure, as well as how to train the users themselves on what they need to do differently.

If your users are, generally, homogeneous – as in they are all remote or all in one office – this may be pretty easy. But if you have a complex userbase – some at home, some in Starbucks, some on the road, some in corporate offices, and some in shared office space – you have a varying set of user needs that is going to influence not just how they need to be trained, but more importantly, what the design of the recovery will look like. If you choose a simple recovery to the cloud for your applications and data, but it’s a nightmare for users to access it, you know that’s not the right answer.

Take the user perspective into consideration when crafting your DR plans.