Better Prepared Organizations Implement More Detailed DR Plans

This week I want to examine in more detail the good news coming out of the 2014 Annual Report on the State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council .  Based on hundreds of responses from organizations worldwide, the Annual Report provides several insights into the best practices of companies that are better prepared to recover from outages or disasters.

You can download the report for free at

I want to examine why some companies appear to be doing much better at preparing for outages by implementing more detailed DR plans.

Results from the survey indicate that the characteristics of a good DR plan are much more than lists of emergency phone numbers built into call trees.  Top scoring organizations on the landmark DR Preparedness survey, for example, fully document their disaster recovery plans.  In stark contrast, nearly one third of organizations participating in the survey that scored a failing grade have no DR plan at all.

At the same time nearly all top tier scoring participants clearly identify critical applications and their vital components so they understand their priorities for what to recover first.  In contrast, lower scoring organizations do not have a real grasp of their critical applications to be recovered, nor do they detail failover/failback processes in their DR documentation.

Without established documentation of a DR plan, most organizations can’t help but struggle when an outage or disaster occurs.  One of my past experiences with a data center fire that caused a major loss of business services dramatically demonstrated to me personally the difficulty of trying to recover critical applications without a fully documented plan.  In the event of an outage, chaos ensues unless you’ve spelled out specific steps for who does what in a disaster scenario.

Next week, I’m going to describe what organizations are doing to set specific DR metrics for RTOs and RPOs so they can measure their DR performance—and hopefully enhance their ability to manage recovery faster and more effectively.

Over the course of this series, I will also be constantly reminding you that there are several steps you can take right now to improve your own DR preparedness:

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