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Disaster Recovery and HR

June marked the official beginning of the hurricane season in the Atlantic—a good reason to check your kits to ensure that adequate supplies are on hand in case of a major storm.

But what about your company? What kits need to be in order to prepare it for the possibility of a major event?

What is needed is an effective disaster-recovery plan, a set of guidelines and procedures used by an organization for the recovery of data lost due to severe forces of nature like earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, floods or hurricanes. The effect of such disasters is fresh in our minds, from Japan’s quake and tsunami to Thailand’s massive flooding—both of which caused severe dislocations in the global supply chains.

Strategic HR leaders will prepare by working through scenarios to deal with issues that may arise in the wake of a disaster that affects both personnel and systems.

A series of recent articles point to the cloud as a means of improving business continuity in the face of catastrophic risk.

The Business Continuity Blog asks how the cloud can help with business continuity planning and comes up with a trio of significant reasons:

  • People and Location
  • Technology
  • Information

The blog notes: “For businesses, the Internet and availability of broadband has increased the prevalence of distributed staff across different geographical locations. With a distributed workforce and cloud-based solutions these two are items of less concern. In a business continuity scenario, the practical option would be to have staff work from home (or temporary office) in the event of a disaster, accessing systems running in the cloud.”

Software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) provide compelling technology as part of business continuity planning, while trusted cloud-based services can support businesses by ensuring that current data is stored confidentially and is readily available in the event of a disaster.

Other elements cited include improved data availability, reliability and security, and the ability to leverage expertise beyond the enterprise per se.

According to Forrester Research, heightened awareness and increased regulation have been driving business continuity and disaster recovery prioritization, making it a top IT priority at the outset of the decade and the top IT priority for small and mid-sized businesses.

This is particularly important for HR, because of the critical role it plays as a “first responder” in the case of a disaster, as Todd Bavol notes in his HR Ninja blog. Another post extends this by pointing out that HR’s responsibility extends to the business per se:

“Even in cases where the nature of a disaster only affects the business, as opposed to a whole region or community, HR needs to be prepared to handle issues such as alterations to work schedules, providing contact information, dealing with absence and payroll issues, ensuring that employees receive funding for additional expenses and filling business-critical roles which may have been left vacant as a direct result of the emergency situation.”

As HR departments increasingly incorporate software solutions as core elements in their day-to-day business operations, those using cloud-based solutions can feel good about disaster recovery readiness, leaving them more time and resources for preparing to support personnel and the business should a major event prove problematic.

 

Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team

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