A data backup and disaster recovery solution is a huge investment, but so many fall into the trap of implementing the system, creating plans and then stopping. With so much already invested, a failure at this point often has critical consequences across the entirety of an organisation. Completing the backup and disaster recovery strategy requires training, policy development, testing and periodic review. An organisation that is unable to fund these additional aspecrs is essentially throwing away the inital investment.
The implementation of a world class backup and disaster recovery solution can be useless if no one knows how to use it effectively. Comprehensive staff training and development is key to a complete backup and disaster recovery strategy.
Endorsement of a Backup and Disaster Recovery Awareness Training Program
While employee awareness, education and training is key to a complete strategy, the endorsement of senior management in these areas is essential to their success. While the rollout and maintenance of a solution is typically managed by the IT department, the involvement of other departments, such as HR, play an integral role in the implementation of awareness and training programmes.
By gaining the support of HR, you can benefit from their experience in order to train your staff to use a backup and disaster recovery solution. Not only this but with the involvement of this department, these essential principles can be integrated into the induction process for new employees - ultimately, building the importance of backup and disaster recovery into the organisational culture.
Building a Backup and Disaster Recovery Training Plan
A process of analysis is needed in order to understand what areas of training are required for both IT specific employee, who are working directly with the solution; and the general populace, who engage with the data on a regular basis.
While in the design stages, it is important to take into consideration the three stages of a disaster: before; during; and after and the steps that would be required to consistently maintain data integrity. These stages allow you to map the steps, behaviours and responsibilities that should be exhibited by an employee within a specific role.
The before stage can apply to the entirety of the workforce and the roles designed should take into consideration what would be required from each to maintain data integrity as they perform their day-to-day duties. This may be highly specific and related directly to the backup and disaster recovery solution for a member of the IT department. Or be more generalised, in that a member of a mobile team working from laptops, may be required to include additional steps into the backup of their personal device.
Consideration of the during stage will most often apply to the members of the IT team and incorporate technical recovery and emergency response activities. The employees educted in these roles will be involved in the initiation of the recovery processes.
The after stage will most likely require input from employees from both within the IT team and without, as the ‘return-to-normal actions’ will need to be executed. These would include the restoration of business systems and processes. Once organisational operations have returned the most important step becomes analysis; in order to improve each step in the backup and disaster recovery process.
Once the complete journey of a disaster has been mapped, and the required behaviours have been identified it becomes important to establish an understanding of the current competency levels within the workforce.
By understanding the current position in comparison to the desired position an actionable plan of who needs to be educated and in what areas, can be developed. These new roles should be reaffirmed through training, education, policy implementation. In addition to this spot or scenario, testing will allow embed the importance of backup and disaster recovery within company culture.
The role of your vendor in the training process
Another factor to be considered in the development of a backup and disaster recovery training program is the involvement of your solution vendor and the resources that they can provide. These resources may take on a variety of forms.
In the case of a managed service, this resource will be evident in the backup and disaster recovery processes as they either assume or support the roles that would normally be allocated to your IT department in the before, during and after stages.
Alternatively, your vendor may be able to provide training support that can be used to create a compete backup strategy.
Implementing a backup and disaster recovery solution is an organisational wide investment but without the appropriate staff training, this investment can be quickly lost, putting organisational data in jeopardy.
Backup Systems provides a fully managed service that both manages and maintains your backup and diaster recovery processes on your behalf, giving back your valuable time that could be better spent on business critical projects.
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