Four repellent repercussions of failing to test your business continuity plans

Four repellent repercussions of failing to test your business continuity plans

A slow recovery from IT downtime can kill a business. And the slower the recovery time, the greater the financial impact. Plus there’s the effect on your business reputation. Find out here why it’s so important to regularly test your business continuity and IT disaster recovery plans.

“19% of disaster recoveries fail”

- The Plan B Disaster Recovery Report 2014

If you’ve invested in a business continuity solution, you probably feel reassured that you’ve done everything in your power to mitigate against the risk of IT downtime. However, with every business continuity solution comes a level of responsibility to check it actually works. And the only way to do this is to test it.

Failure to test your business continuity and disaster recovery plan means:

1. You won’t achieve fast or reliable recovery

The undeniable fact is that, unless your system is tested regularly, you won’t be able to achieve fast or reliable recovery.

And here’s why…

2. You won’t be able to read your data

…When a machine is first reconstructed, there are tens to hundreds of potential errors in that all need working through before the consistency of the applications mean the machine will work effectively. There are also possible errors that could occur with the construction of the machine. This could render it unable to boot. And the logic tests variables and applications which, until they are rectified, will prevent your data from being able to be read.

If you can’t reboot your machine, you can’t read your data.

3. Your initial test is likely to require hours of specialist engineering

It’s only once all these errors have been ironed out that you will have a recovered system. This takes hours of specialist engineering time to sort through. This is why your recovery time can never be fast on a first recovery.

4. Infrastructure changes may render new devices or applications unworkable

If you do SOME testing, you have a head start. But you need to make this regular. Regular testing of the full recovery process is the only reliable way to reduce your recovery time and keep it at there. Once the initial errors from the first recovery have been ironed out, further recoveries will be faster and your risk of downtime will reduce; there will be fewer errors to work through.

However, what some people forget, is that with every change to your infrastructure, new errors will occur and your recovery time will start to rise again. For example, if you install Blackberry onto your system you need to make sure that it’s tested and working on your recovery systems. Otherwise, it won’t work should you have to perform a live recovery.

What does good, robust testing of a business continuity plan look like?

Ideally, your systems will be recovered and tested daily using lower-cost cloud automation, so you’re alerted to potential problems before they manifest in a live situation.

Find out more about disaster recovery in the cloud.

* Cloud Direct surveyed 237 directors and senior managers of small-medium financial services organisations across the UK in September 2014.

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