Are you looking to pressure test and update your current business continuity plan (BCP)? If not, you should be. Testing your Business Continuity Plan (BCP) not only provides essential employees with real case scenario experience in carrying out your business’s plan of action; it also helps you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your plan. This article will provide you with some tips on how to test your BCP and objectively analyze the results.
Tip #1 Test, review, and revise
Taking the time to pressure test your BCP is only one step in a three-step process. After performing a test you need to devote as much time and energy into reviewing and revising your plan. The main objectives of a BCP are to minimize losses, reduce downtimes, and lessen the impact a system failure has on not only you but also your customers. Once you perform your test, you need to review your results and make all necessary suggestions for improvements. Outline a plan to implement all your revisions and monitor their success during your next test. Almost as important as the testing is making sure you update your documentation with new updates and discoveries found during testing.
Tip #2 Consider upgrading your backup appliance
Your business has spent countless hours and dollars in devising the strongest BCP possible. When it comes to purchasing a backup appliance, this is not the time to cut corners. Look at the purchase of your backup appliance as an investment. An advanced appliance is built not only to restore your data in the event of a server crash, it is also capable of restoring all your apps and settings which will significantly reduce the amount of time you need to devote to getting back to business as usual. An advanced backup appliance is the best piece of equipment you can buy to protect your business in the event of a server crash or system failure. If you are not satisfied with the amount of time it takes to get back up and running during a pressure test, consider upgrading your backup appliance.
Tip #3 Test your BCP quarterly
Many businesses make the mistake of testing their continuity plan on an annual basis opposed to testing it more frequently. You should test your plan quarterly to maximize its effectiveness and keep all your data as current as possible. As your business grows and technology evolves, it is important that your continuity plan grows with it. Your BCP should progressively match the growth of your business which is why every business should pressure test BCP on a quarterly basis.