Gartner Research

How to Develop an IT DR Exercise Plan for On-Site and Cloud-Based IT Services

Published: 31 January 2017

ID: G00315472

Analyst(s): Ray Schafer


If you have not recently tested all or significant parts of your IT disaster recovery (DR) plan, you cannot know that it will work. This document will help technical professionals involved in IT DR to design and evolve a set of realistic exercises to efficiently verify and improve IT DR plans.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework: Organize for IT DR Exercises
    • Organize/Review Business Recovery Tiers and Dependencies
    • Validate the IT Service Recovery Plan for Each Business Service
    • Identify Resources Required for Each IT Service Recovery Plan
  • Step 1: Build and Evolve a Series of IT DR Exercises
    • Step 1.1: Build or Maintain a Series of Three to Four Off-Site DR Exercises
    • Step 1.2: Periodically Assess and Improve the IT Service Recovery Plans
  • Step 2: Run and Document the IT DR Exercise
    • Step 2.1: Prepare for Next Planned Exercise
    • Step 2.2: Run the Planned IT DR Exercise, and Document in Real Time
    • Step 2.3: Report Results and Corrective Actions
  • Step 3: Identify Improvements and Incorporate Them Into the IT DR Plan
    • Step 3.1: Review Documented Results With the BCM Team and Executive Management Sponsors
    • Step 3.2: Remediate Component Failures
    • Step 3.3: Create a Follow-Up Action Plan
    • Step 3.4: Review and Adjust the Series of IT DR Exercises After Each Exercise
  • Follow-Up: Build IT Resilience Improvement Into Organizational Culture
    • Improve IT Staff Preparedness
    • Evolve IT DR

Risks and Pitfalls

Gartner Recommended Reading

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