Gartner Research

16 Tips to Enhance Your IT Disaster Recovery Program

Published: 28 February 2020


Despite advances in IT disaster recovery technology, IT DR remains a common challenge. After reviewing hundreds of well-intended DR documents, we identified areas that are often problematic. I&O leaders should follow these 16 practices to improve their IT DR strategy, documentation and exercises.

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  • Key Challenges
  • Align Program Scope and Recovery Strategy
    • No. 1. Align IT DR Management With Business Continuity Management
    • No. 2. Define a Clear, High-Level DR Planning Scope
    • No. 3. Plan for Loss Categories Rather Than Specific Event Scenarios
    • No. 4. Define Criticality Tiers With Standardized RPO and RTO Definitions and Align Them With Recovery Strategies
  • Improve DR Documentation of Key Policies, Roles, IT DR Program Processes and Recovery Overview
    • No. 5. Develop High-Level IT DR Program Documents
    • No. 6. Define IT DR Program Roles and Responsibilities
    • No. 7. Plan for Scenarios Where Primary Contacts Are Unavailable
    • No. 8. Implement Explicitly Detailed Procedures in the DR Plan
    • No. 9. Establish a Recovery Matrix That Aligns Recovery Tiering With Business Functions
    • No. 10. Store Documents in a Central Location
    • No. 11. Enhance Access Control Management
    • No. 12. Centralize Contact Details
  • Continuously Exercise and Improve DR Strategies and Plans
    • No. 13. Conduct DR Exercising, Not DR Testing
    • No. 14. Update Policies and Exercise Cadence
    • No. 15. Vary the Scope and Depth of DR Exercising
    • No. 16. Plan for DR Strategy and Program Document Updates and Reviews

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