Eight best practices for IT disaster recovery

Given the high number of blackouts, hurricanes and other disasters that have come our way during the past few years, many CIOs are wisely reexamining their disaster recovery strategies. CIO Executive Council members share some of their tried-and-true methods with CSO readers.

1. Empower your staff. Dedicate a department within IT to manage business continuity planning and disaster recovery.

2. Divide and conquer. To ensure business involvement, some CIOs separate business continuity planning and disaster recovery into two initiatives, each with its own governance and goals.

3. Make sure the plan can stand alone. Develop a plan that will work with or without the people who created it.

4. Challenge the business. Request that individuals think about how long they really go without a particular application.

5. Align disaster recovery with application development.

6. Test your crisis management team with mock disasters. Tabletop tests won’t cut it.

7. Try before you buy. Test products and new technologies, before you purchase.

8. Hold postmortems and adjust. What you do with the results of the test is a critical part of disaster recovery planning.