Mastering MPS Disaster Recovery Planning: Keys to Success and Lessons from Failures


Alexander Watson

Mastering MPS Disaster Recovery Planning: Keys to Success and Lessons from Failures

In the digital age, MPS (Managed Print Services) disaster recovery planning isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a business necessity. Imagine the chaos if your business’s printing capabilities went offline. It’s not just about paper and ink; it’s about crucial business processes grinding to a halt.

That’s where MPS disaster recovery planning comes in. It’s about ensuring continuity, minimizing downtime, and keeping your business running smoothly, no matter what. In this article, I’ll delve into the essentials of MPS disaster recovery planning, equipping you with the knowledge to safeguard your business against unexpected disruptions. Buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of MPS disaster recovery.

Understanding MPS Disaster Recovery Planning

Sailing deeper into the realm of MPS and disaster recovery aligns with understanding their core dimensions individually.

What Is MPS?

In it’s simplest form, Managed Print Services, or MPS, refers to the external management of a company’s document output systems. Companies providing MPS manage all aspects of your printing devices, giving examples like printers, scanners, faxes, and copiers. They tend to assume the responsibility for maintaining the devices, supplying consumables, and even managing the print infrastructure. MPS reduces the administrative burden and allows businesses to focus on their core competencies.

The Importance of Disaster Recovery in Managed Print Services

Stepping into the sphere of disaster recovery within MPS, it holds immense importance. A failure in the print services, such as a malware attack, technical glitch, or natural disaster, inflicts interruptions in the workflow. The repercussions reverberate beyond the boundaries of mere document production to potentially paralyze business operations. By ensuring a robust disaster recovery plan for MPS, businesses mitigate these risks.

Streamlining with the MPS disaster recovery planning, it aims at minimizing the downtime, preserving data integrity, and ensuring swift restoration of services. The tight-knotted connection between the task operations and printing services is a tangible reference to the importance of disaster recovery in managed print services. It’s like a safety net that keeps the business operations ticking along, even in the face of unpredicted disruption, serving as a lifeline for the smooth conduct of business processes.

Core Components of MPS Disaster Recovery Planning

Transitioning from the overarching importance of MPS disaster recovery planning, let’s break down its integral components. Two key elements flush out the core of any reliable plan: Risk Assessment and Analysis and setting Key Objectives — specifically defining your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO).

Risk Assessment and Analysis

Capstone to disaster recovery plans, Risk Assessment and Analysis revolves around identifying potential threats and evaluating their impact on business processes. This process seeks to uncover vulnerabilities in the system, best described as weakest links in the chain, which hackers and malware might exploit. Risk Assessment demands meticulous review of security measures safeguarding the MPS environment. For instance, the password policies or the security of document storage facilities. A comprehensive Risk Analysis, on the other hand, quantifies these risks, estimating potential downtime, cost of recovery, and loss of revenue due to service interruption.

Key Objectives: RTO and RPO

In the realm of Disaster Recovery Planning, two objectives hold prominence: Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). Simply put, they act as metrics for defining a company’s tolerance for loss – of time and data.

Firstly, the Recovery Time Objective signifies the tolerable period of downtime before the business continuity gets critically disrupted. For instance, if a company sets an RTO of two hours, it essentially means that they must be able to recover post-disruption within this time frame.

Contrarily, the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) pertains more to the data loss your business can endure. If you express an RPO of 30 minutes, for example, then you’re implying that the company can afford to lose the last half an hour’s worth of data post-disruption.

Understanding and clearly defining your RTO and RPO form the bedrock of a robust MPS disaster recovery plan; they act as guiding principles in designing and executing effective recovery strategies.

Creating an MPS Disaster Recovery Plan

Setting up a meticulous recovery plan for your MPS disaster recovery remains a cornerstone for safeguarding business continuity and minimizing disruptions.

Step-by-Step Strategy Development

Creating a significant MPS disaster recovery plan demands a methodical approach. I start on this path by outlining clearly identified steps.

First, identifying critical business operations impacted by MPS downtime becomes my priority. Take, for instance, processes such as records keeping, billing, and customer communication.

Second, I’ll set up a response team. The team typically includes representatives from IT, operations, and business leadership. The inclusion of professionals from diverse departments ensures an all-rounded approach to disaster management.

Third, I designate recovery strategies for each affected operation, which would depend on their criticality and tolerance for downtime. A critical operation like customer communication, for instance, may have a strategy that involves the immediate use of backup printing systems.

Technology and Software Considerations

Gleaning insights from technology and software considerations mold my MPS disaster recovery plan. I utilize MPS-specific applications such as automated toner replenishment software or advanced print management solutions.

I also probe into the physical MPS hardware. Investigating the vulnerability of MPS devices present in multiple locations, for instance, allows me to set precise recovery procedures.

Lastly, I incorporate cloud-based MPS solutions in my plan. Technology like cloud printing provides a secure offsite repository for crucial print data along with the possibility for remote printer access, essential for maintaining printing capabilities after a disaster.

Incorporating these considerations fortifies my MPS Disaster Recovery Plan, ensuring continuity and minimal disruption during unexpected events.

Testing Your MPS Disaster Recovery Plan

Once an MPS disaster recovery plan gets put in place, its effectiveness requires regular testing. This process ensures you are adequately prepared, and your business continuity will remain robust in the event of an actual disaster. The subsequent paragraphs provide further insight into the frequency of testing and why learning from these tests is essential.

Frequency of Testing

Any disaster recovery plan’s potency lies in consistent testing. Experts recommend testing this plan at least twice a year, given the minimum. However, depending on how critical the MPS is to your organization, doing it quarterly may prove beneficial. For instance, a printing company would test their disaster recovery plan more frequently than a tech company that doesn’t rely heavily on MPS. It is also important to update the test schedule whenever there are significant changes in business operations, staff, or technology.

Learning From Test Results

The primary purpose of these tests isn’t simply to exercise the plan, but to learn from them extensively. Each test provides an opportunity to identify gaps in the recovery strategies, clarify responsibilities, and improve communications inside the response team. For example, a test may reveal that the recovery time objective (RTO) for a certain business operation is too long, leading to revision of the strategy. Similarly, tests often uncover training needs within the response team, which can then be addressed promptly. Remember, an efficiently functioning MPS disaster recovery plan is the result of proactive improvements made over time based on insights gathered from these tests.

Best Practices for MPS Disaster Recovery

As we move further, we now shift focus towards the best practices for a thorough MPS disaster recovery. These strategies encompass two fundamental aspects: Staff Training and Awareness, and Regular Updates and Revisions.

Staff Training and Awareness

Pivotal in any recovery plan, competent staff training marks an essential characteristic of effective MPS disaster recovery management. I advocate for encompassing comprehensive training sessions that introduce the concept of MPS Disaster Recovery. These sessions are geared towards empowering all team members, irrespective of roles, with essential knowledge of the established disaster recovery plan.

In a scenario that involves unforeseen disasters, having well-informed personnel boosts your MPS resilience tenfold. Some practices include drills for various disaster situations, workshops for handling MPS-specific applications, and courses that demarcate staff roles during emergencies. Always remember, only when the staff understands their role precisely during a so-called ‘doomsday’ scenario, can they execute their tasks efficiently- the very essence of our aim.

Regular Updates and Revisions

Maintenance remains the heart of any effective recovery strategy. Thus, it’s of utmost importance that we regularly update our MPS disaster recovery plan. It engenders validity and maintains the relevance of the plan in the continually evolving work environment. Think about it – a two-year-old disaster recovery plan may be obsolete due to new hardware, software, or even staff changes!

You may update your MPS disaster recovery plan annually, less so if significant changes warrant it. Establish a routine audit schedule that scrutinizes potential changes in MPS-specific applications, hardware infrastructure, or major personnel shifts which might impact the efficacy of the plan. The result, an up-to-date recovery plan with the latest tools, strategies and methodologies, better equipped to tackle any disaster that tries to impede your operations.

Case Studies: Real-World MPS Disaster Recoveries

Diving into real-world scenarios, I’ll explain significant MPS disaster recoveries. Actual cases will expose both triumphs and failures allowing for a deeper understanding of potential guideposts for MPS disaster recovery planning.

Success Stories

Heralding from various industries, some organizations have successfully faced and overcome MPS disasters. Their ability to bounce back from dire straits stands as a testament to the importance of sound disaster recovery planning.

  1. A multinational automotive company – After a severe flood in one of their Asian factories, they managed to recover their MPS infrastructure within 24 hours of the incident. Their RTO and RPO objectives acted as their guiding lights, ensuring quick response times and minimal data loss during the recovery process.
  2. A large hospital in New York – When a massive cyber attack crippled its print capabilities, this healthcare organization was back up in 48 hours, ensuring continual patient care. Its well-rounded disaster recovery plan incorporated frequent audits and staff training, serving as a critical line of defence, even in worst-case scenarios.

Lessons Learned from Failures

Failures, although unfortunate, provide unique learning opportunities. By understanding where others faltered, one can better shape their disaster recovery planning strategies.

  1. An international bank in Europe – Without a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, the bank suffered severe losses when they fell victim to a cyber attack. Their lack of staff training and risk assessments led to their system’s collapse, resulting in an RTO that extended for about a week.
  2. A nationally recognized university – When a power outage led to a systemic shutdown, the university stayed offline for 48 hours, disrupting staff and student functions. Their failure to account for basic hardware infrastructure needs, amid their plans, was a clear oversight, spotlighting the indispensable need for a full-fledged MPS disaster recovery plan.


So we’ve seen that MPS disaster recovery planning isn’t just about ticking boxes. It’s about safeguarding your business from unforeseen circumstances. We’ve explored key objectives like RTO and RPO, and how they shape recovery plans. We’ve also seen how technology and regular testing play pivotal roles. Staff training and awareness can’t be underestimated either. It’s what makes the whole plan come together. Real-world case studies have shown us the potential consequences of not having a comprehensive plan. They’ve also highlighted the positive outcomes when things are done right. Let’s not forget the lessons learned from failures. They’re stark reminders of what can happen when we overlook crucial aspects like hardware infrastructure. Remember, a well-planned MPS disaster recovery strategy is a lifeline for your business. So make it count.

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