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Is It Time to Update Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

How often should a business update their disaster recovery plan? Unfortunately, many misinformed business owners believe that developing a disaster recovery plan is a one-time task. This can be a costly and devastating lesson for businesses in the face of a real disaster. An efficient plan should be tested and updated on an annual basis at the very least. Testing and updating your plan quarterly is always best.

Creating a disaster recovery plan is not enough. You will need to test your plan and make sure your employees all know what steps need to be taken when a real disaster does occur. Assign each employee with a role and simulate a disaster. Have your staff carry out the steps of the recovery plan systematically. Evaluate the results of your testing and make any necessary changes or adjustments in areas where improvement is needed.

Cloud data will still need to be recovered in the event of a disaster. There are numerous advantages to having your data stored on the cloud. However, simply storing your data on the cloud doesn’t complete your disaster recovery plan. You will need to know how and where to recover the information stored there in the event of a disaster as quickly as possible.

Take the time to evaluate your plan and recovery priorities. As technology changes over time, the focus of your initial recovery efforts may also change. Make sure your list of business contacts and emergency contacts are up to date and have this list readily accessible. Prioritize which applications your business relies on the most so that they may be restored according to order of importance. Re-evaluate this list every time you update your plan. As technology changes and grows, your plan will need to be amended to your evolving needs.

How often you choose to test and update your plan can depend on several factors. Is your business run solely online? Is your customer’s information stored on the cloud? Do you run or rely on numerous applications? How often does your staff change? Businesses with a lot of new faces should take the time to make sure all employees learn the disaster recovery plan. This should be included as a standard protocol during the hiring and training process. Take these factors into account when scheduling disaster recovery plan testing and updating.

For a busy business owner, outsourcing their IT needs if often the best option for creating and maintaining a strong disaster recovery plan. It frees up valuable time and resources that should be used to focus on core business growth. A professional managed service provider will assist you in devising a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, testing this plan, and making necessary updates in a timely fashion. The risks of trying to handle your own IT security needs negate the costs associated with outsourcing. Don’t wait until it is too late to let a professional implement the right disaster recovery plan for your business.