Does your business disaster recovery plan work in theory only or have you put it to the test? Find out how to test a disaster recovery plan.
Every company should put their disaster recovery plan to test to ensure it will work when required. Here are some keep points to consider when putting your disaster recovery plan to the test.
Keep everyone in the loop
Plan and schedule your plan and keep all employees in the loop. There is only one way to test a disaster recovery plan, you need to turn all the systems off and then turn them on again. This should be scheduled at the lowest demand point for your company as it also gives you the maximum time possible to resolve unknown tech support issues that may arise. Also ensure your backups work so you have a contingency plan in case your disaster recovery fails.
Mitigate the risks and document
Disaster recovery is part of how a business responds to risk and it will involve some investment to mitigate the risks. Companies should perform a risk analysis to establish the likelihood of an event taking place, the cost to the business of such an event and the amount and type of mitigation that is required.
Evaluate risk assessment and business impact
Many organizations believe their business continuity works and it is in place however often these are out of date or do not have a nominated owner. A regular risk assessment will drive the critical elements of the plan and highlight the main areas that need testing. IT will play an important role in business continuity as they have to provision systems and services.
Test everything, even the end-users
Best business advice in a disaster recovery plan is to work on the basis that untested plans do not work, so not testing it because it seems difficult or costly should not be an option. You should engage a third party IT consultant or managed services provider to have an independent opinion on the business continuity or disaster recovery plan.
Why do you need test a disaster recovery plan?
Simple, IT disaster recovery and business continuity planning are very important to every business and the responsibility of both the IT department and entire management structure. The results from the disaster recovery testing should identify potential weaknesses as well as help plan the roles, responsibilities, documentation and technology for the company. This exercise will give you a good perspective on your organization as well as ultimately increase your confidence in the recovery plan.
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