Many businesses are starting to realize the importance of a disaster recovery plan, in order to keep their business up and running and avoid costly downtime. As organizations grow, their cost for downtime grows, thus the need for an effective disaster recovery plan grows even more. Using your IT provider to help build your disaster recovery plan will be the best way to build the best disaster recovery plan for your business. However, we are here to help by compiling a list of the 6 biggest challenges in a disaster recovery plan, and recommendations to avoid these challenges.
1) Planning out how you will test your disaster recovery plan. When a disaster happens it will likely happen without much notice, so planning out exactly how you want your test disaster to happen is not realistic on what will actually happen. We recommend minimizing the time spent putting together a plan on how to simulate the disaster, rather just test it to see if your disaster recovery plan works well.
2) Forgetting to test the plan regularly. Technology is regularly changing and being updated, so an outdated will not be as effective as possible. Regularly test the plan, and be certain that the plan is updated to reflect new technology.
3) Planning only for the worst case. Disasters can take many forms, and will rarely be the ultimate disaster of your entire building burning down. While disaster like that, pose the greatest damage to a business, equipment breakdowns and human errors are much more likely. You need to plan for a variety of severity levels in your disaster recovery plan, and test for those different levels as well.
4) Cutting corners on the plan and overlooking certain aspects. When you are so involved in putting together the plan it is easy to overlook certain things. We would recommend sharing your plan with your IT provider and getting an outside opinion.
5) Failure to include communication in your plan. Communication will be critical following a disaster, and leaving this out of the plan will likely result in additional downtime, lost revenue, and higher recovery costs. Include in your communication plan the circumstances under which it will be used, multiple levels of escalation and authorization, and how to let employees and customers know of the disaster.
6) Not having a backup plan for your backup plan. You need to plan for what can go wrong, will go wrong. Assuming everything will go as planned is a huge mistake to make. For every step of your process include what should be done if the resource/tool or person responsible is unavailable when that step comes.