8 Reasons why you should be testing your Disaster Recovery Plan

Empty roads pandemic
March 11th, 2020, the Global Pandemic was declared, and millions of employees suddenly shifted to remote work arrangements.

If 2020 taught us anything, it was how important IT is in keeping a business connected during unexpected events. IT teams rushed to get employees online and seamlessly working from home and many still are. IT has certainly proved itself to be a valuable commodity in any business.

Keeping IT infrastructure protected against downtime, data breaches and cyber attacks has now emerged as a top priority for organizations worldwide. Data protection is important to maintain reputation and prevent devastating financial loss in the event of a disaster. 

Despite the heightened awareness, many companies are still misinformed about the importance of business continuity and disaster recovery. Shockingly, many organizations do not test their Disaster Recovery plan and a small portion still don’t have one! 

We’ve taken a look at the key reasons on why you should be testing your Disaster Recovery services. 

1. Natural Disasters

As we touched upon in the introduction, the 2020 Global Pandemic made many IT leaders reassess Disaster Recovery solutions. This has taught us that no business is safe from these circumstances. We must ensure everything is tested so we are better prepared if something happens again. 

2. Hardware/Software Failure

One of the most prevalent causes of downtime are power outages and IT infrastructure failures. Although faulty wiring, network issues and hardware faults are often out of our control – how we react to them is not. Work with teams to identify appropriate recovery time objectives. Testing this Disaster Recovery policy will enable managers to confirm if the RTO is appropriate. You can then amend the plan accordingly.

3. Customer Loss

It’s an age old understanding that acquiring new customers is harder and more expensive than retaining existing ones. On top of this, imagine trying to re-acquire customers after a major IT failure. 

If your business is responsible for important customer data, this is even more critical. Yes IT failures are sometimes unavoidable, but how you handle them is key. Testing your DR plan will ensure that you’re ready for disaster and able to recuperate lost data quickly and efficiently. 

4. High Expectations

Customers and stakeholders are more demanding than ever in these times. It’s almost a given nowadays that services run 24/7 and are accessible whenever needed. If you have a slow recovery time, customers may get impatient and move to a competitor instead. Testing the DR plan will enable you to assess if the RTO is appropriate and invest/amend accordingly. 

5. Cost of Downtime

Regular testing of your IT infrastructure enables you to assess how critical it is to keep certain aspects of your business online. Working with management, you can conclude the true cost of being offline for a set amount of time and prioritize data backup and recovery accordingly. Without regular testing, the cost of downtime will be unclear, resulting in you not prioritizing the key services first. 

6. Cyber Security

One of the easiest routes for hackers to enter an IT estate is via vulnerable and out of date infrastructure. Regularly running DR tests enables you to identify existing vulnerabilities and fix them before they can be exploited. Investing in Managed Security Services can also help keep your data safe from malicious individuals. 

7. Compliance Requirements

In many industries, such as healthcare, finance and government entities –  24/7 access to data and applications is critical. Strict regulations such as HIPAA and FINRA often require having a disaster recovery plan and abiding by a specific uptime. This means that regular disaster recovery testing can help your business not only minimize the downtime but also maintain the necessary certifications.

8. To Learn from your Mistakes

The most helpful outcome from performing a business continuity plan test is the opportunity to learn from your experience. Every recovery job will be different from the previous one with different findings. Backup and recovery analysis can give you a deep insight into the real state of your IT infrastructure. This information is key for reducing your cloud storage costs and advancing your overall approach to data protection.

Disaster Recovery solutions and testing them can be a huge task if you’re not sure where to start. Why not contact our team today for access to our free DR Plan template. The template not only details the key considerations and workflow for a DR solution, but also how to schedule testing. 

Download our Disaster Recovery Plan Template

About Paul Butcher

Paul Butcher is Co-Founder of Canada's fastest growing cloud company. Prior to founding HostedBizz in 2012, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Mitel Networks. He has over 30 years experience in driving strategic growth and creating change within channel centric technology markets.