If you are like most businesses nowadays there is a very good chance you have a Business Continuity/ Disaster Recovery Plan. (Also known as: A-worst-case-scenario-has-just-happened-to-your-business-what-will-it-take-to-get-you-back-up-and-running plan.) If you don’t have a BC/DR Plan for your business, stop reading this article and create one…
Don’t worry I’m not going anywhere… No really, I’ll wait. It’s that important.
Welcome back. Now that you have BC/DR plan here is my next piece of unsolicited advice.
Yes, there will be a cost associated with this. That cost will be directly related to the breadth and scope of your test. What kind of scenario do you want to recreate? Do you want to take your office down for a weekend and try to recreate it from backups? Do you want to just test pieces of your plan? Do you only want to test out your plan on your most critical servers and data? What about your phone system?
The options are endless and will be billed on an hourly rate. I can only say, do what makes the most sense for you financially. But, do it.
Lawyers Mutual partners with a 3rd party IT vendor as an integral part of our BC/DR plan and this past December, we scoped out a project and tested that plan. I am proud to say we found no gaping holes in the plan. No red flags were raised during the test. The recovery of servers and data all went according to plan. (Yeah me!)
The test did reveal, unbeknownst to me, that there were parts of our DR plan that are actually tested periodically throughout the year. Showing that, if nothing else, a test of your DR plan can be educational as well as reassuring.
Set a regular schedule to test all or parts of your plan. Budget for it and stick to it. Just remember, it’s much better to discover issues regarding your BC/DR plan before something happens to your business and not after.
About the Author
Linh Schladweiler has been with Lawyers Mutual since 1997 and currently fills the role of IT System Manager. You can contact Linh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-663-8843.