Defining Proper Crisis Communication in IT Organizations

      Posted by Sydney Boman on May 8, 2019 7:30:00 AM


      With major hacks, hurricanes and other disasters hitting the news lately, disaster recovery planning has become a necessity for every IT organization. We've talked a lot about how to handle a disaster and developing a disaster recovery (DR) plan, but let's take a deeper dive into actually putting a plan into motion.

      Here's the scenario: your company has done it's due diligence and put a disaster recovery plan into place. It's performed the requisite tests and knows that the plan works. Now, a fire hit your main data center on premise and you need to fail over to your NewCloud DR environment.

      Key Personnel

      Now, back to reality. Does your organization's DR plan start with identifying the right people to contact when a crisis hits? Crisis communication is crucial to any DR plan and can be the difference between a successful recovery or the dissolution of a company. 

      Key personnel to contact in a crisis disaster recovery contact

      Develop a contact list of the people who should be notified in a disaster situation. Make sure to include all of their contact information, as shown above. 

      Generate a Call Tree

      When a disaster hits, response time is key; and in order to respond quickly, employees need to know who to contact to set a recovery plan into motion. Once you have identified who the key personnel are, define the order in which they should be contacted and develop a call tree.

      Call tree.png

      With a call tree in place, the key personnel can respond rapidly to a crisis and put the DR plan to work.

      External Contacts

      When in crisis, we often have difficulty organizing our thoughts. This is why a DR plan is so crucial.  When a crisis hits, your organization undoubtedly has several vendors, partners and service providers that it needs to contact to initiate recovery. Even the organization in our beginning scenario needed to contact NewCloud to fail over it it's DR environment. 

      Here is an example of how to organize those contacts in your DR plan:

      external contacts.png

      These contacts should also be organized into a call tree as done previously with internal personnel. 

      Bottom Line

      A DR plan without the proper channels of crisis communication identified has nowhere to go and no context for execution. In order to recover quickly, avoid catastrophic data loss, and keep customers satisfied, companies should ensure that accurate personnel and communication information is in place. 

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      Topics: Disaster Recovery, Crisis Communication