“The purpose of disaster recovery testing is to reduce the level of information that a company does not know it does not know.”
- Dan Muecke, VP Technology Planning, Advanta Corporation
If you’ve made the investment in business continuity and disaster recovery planning, it is imperative that you continue to hold exercises to validate the plan, and to ensure that your strategy is up to date. If you haven’t had a comprehensive review of your plan, or held an in-depth simulation exercise, within the last 4 to 6 months, you're overdue.
If a company completes their recovery planning without testing, it is very likely to encounter major problems during an actual recovery and then resort to “winging it”. Clearly, not the way you want to approach preserving the livelihood of your business.
By conducting tests/exercises, you will uncover gaps in your planning and assumptions. This identifies areas in which more knowledge is needed in order to ensure recovery. Finding these gaps in a controlled environment (while testing, during a simulation), allows for reasoned resolution and closing of the gaps. Attempting to do so while under the pressure of a real disaster will certainly be less effective. So, dust off those plans, define the scenario, and hold those exercises. That truly is the way to ensure you are Ready For Anything.