Nobody gets disaster recovery planning right the first time. Even the best efforts rely on assumptions that cannot, without examination, be relied on in the event of an actual disaster. In successful contingency planning, it is important to test and evaluate the plan regularly.
Testing your disaster recovery plan is essential. Modern businesses rely heavily on computing equipment and software to operate – often it’s all they rely on. Data processing operations are volatile in nature, resulting in frequent changes to equipment, programs, and documentation. Without regular testing, these frequent changes are likely to cause considerable changes in the variables that make up the basis for many of your Disaster Recovery Plan’s operations.
So how do you go about testing your disaster recovery plan?
The first step is to understand what kinds of questions your test will seek to answer. In my opinion, the best place to start is coming up with questions that put the entire premise of your Disaster Recovery Plan on the table: will this plan actually result in recovery of your business?