It’s that time of the year again! How time flies when you’re having fun. It seems like only yesterday that you were making your disaster recovery resolutions for 2015. Now here you are, 12 months down the line, with (hopefully) a great disaster recovery plan already in place. So far so good, but remember that a plan can go stale quickly. Regular attention to your DR planning and management is a more effective way to stay sharp and ready to handle any incident. The challenge is to keep it relevant, comprehensive and cost-effective. Here are our hints for 2016 to help you do that.

Let’s start with one of the major risks of a well-conceived disaster recovery plan: complacency. A plan that seemed brilliant perhaps only a few months ago may now look decidedly lacklustre, if the business objectives and requirements for your organisation have changed in between. Your first move should be to run through the planning process that starts with top-level organisational goals, and ends up with a well-aligned DR plan. You may get the same result or a different one. Either way, you get fitter and sharper, just like athletes who do their drills to keep on top of their game.

How else will you know if your plan is complete and efficient? IT governance frameworks like ITIL can help structure your thinking further. Try looking outside customary boundaries for 2016 too. Informal chats with colleagues from sales, production, logistics and finance can also help. Not only can you keep up-to-date with changes in their departments and consequent DR requirements, but you can also find out about how manufacturing is using lean methods (cutting out waste), logistics is using outsourcing (access to specific skills), and finance is using risk analysis (identifying out key risks and impacts to be managed). And salespeople may have good tips on how to “sell” your new, improved disaster recovery plan to senior management afterwards!