emergency sign

A Plan, a Contingency Plan, and an Emergency Plan

“A plan is a list of actions arranged in whatever sequence is thought likely to achieve an objective.” – John Argenti, author and founder of the Strategic Planning Society

In military school, it was taught to always have a plan, a contingency plan, and an emergency plan in place before moving forward to achieve the objective.  In business, most people understand that a business always needs a plan, but few know that a contingency plan is also needed to be put in place in case something in the plan goes wrong. Even fewer people understand the importance of an emergency plan in case the contingency plan fails, until it is too late.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

For eleven years I have worked in the data recovery industry working with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.  100% of the businesses and agencies that I have worked with had no emergency plans in place, which costs them time and money.  After catastrophic events such as hurricanes, fires, and floods businesses are usually working with consultant to prepare plans for disaster recovery. Unfortunately, many consultants workout plans and contingency plans for businesses, but fail to recognize and put in place emergency plans.

Take for example data from a Fortune 500 company.  By 2011, all Fortune 500 companies should all have a disaster recovery plan in place for their data.  The plan usually consists of making the data redundant through servers that store the data on a redundant array of independent disks (RAID).  The contingency plan usually involves the data being copied and stored offsite through tapes or mirrored offsite servers in data centers.  Unfortunately, this is where the planning stops.  No emergency plan is offered in case everything goes wrong.

“Failure is inevitable.  Success is elusive.” – Steven Spielberg

When the failure occurs it leaves the IT personnel and management of the company to develop crisis techniques and solutions on the fly, which usually proves to be more harmful than helpful.  Once the panic has subsided they start reaching out for data recovery experts.  Finding experts take time and money.  Capabilities, security, responsiveness, accreditations and costs are all important factors to consider when vetting the correct expert. Usually, a number of these factors are not considered when a company is in a panic.  Both time and money could have been avoided by putting in place an emergency plan that vetted and secured the correct expert.

Flashback Data offers data recovery cost protection plans that go in effect after the plan and contingency plan have failed.  This type of an emergency plan offers a flat low-cost fee per year that will minimize downtime, save money, and detours panic.

Have you looked at your disaster recovery plan?