Having a disaster recovery plan in place is essential for today's technology-reliant nonprofits. Dennis Bagley, manager, and Michael Harnish, CPA, associate, technology consulting and solutions, from consulting firm Plante & Moran offered up this quiz to assess an organization's preparedness.
The scoring is zero for No, one for sort-of and five for yes.
- Has your organization, within the last 12 months, made a detailed assessment of all its computer applications and identified which ones are of top priority in supporting routine business operations? 0-1-2-3-4-5
- Do you know, based on the results of a study and analysis, the estimated dollar losses your organization would suffer if it had a computer or network outage (for any reason) for a week, two weeks, a month? 0-1-2-3-4-5
- Do you think the quality and completeness of your organization's documentation and operating instructions for information systems would enable otherwise qualified strangers to understand and operate your systems without undue delay, research and guesswork? 0-1-2-3-4-5
- Does your organization store backup computer tapes (or diskettes) off-premises, so that at least minor recovery operations might be performed? 0-1-2-3-4-5
- When was the last time you inventoried your organization's computer backups to ensure that all needed files are, in fact, being kept? (Be sure to consider your newer applications and changes to older ones) 0-1-2-3-4-5
- Have you, within the past 18 months, formally surveyed or interviewed key representatives from departments that use and rely on your organization's computers or network to obtain their views on what kind of manual or semi-automated processing could be accomplished, if all services were suddenly cut off for long periods ranging up to one month? 0-1-2-3-4-5
- Does your organization have an up-to-date, detailed, written set of procedures on what to do in an emergency and exactly how recovery operations (specifying the who, what, when, where and how) would go forward if your computer facilities were destroyed or made inaccessible as the result of a serious fire or other disaster? 0-1-2-3-4-5
- Has your organization performed tests under simulated disaster conditions in order to help verify that its computer processing can be accomplished at an alternate computer site under whatever provisions (formal or informal) your organization has for backup and recovery operations? 0-1-2-3-4-5
40 = A good state of emergency preparedness.
30-39 = Not too bad, but a need for additional attention in some areas.
20-29 = Unprepared for potential difficulties that could have been foreseen and avoided.
10-19 = Very spotty attention to a number of key areas. Significant difficulties and delays in data recovery can be expected.
1-9 = Little attention has been given to a disaster recovery plan. A disaster would be very costly. Charter a task force immediately.
Copyright © 2005 The NonProfit Times.