As with the human body, a disaster recovery plan is best kept in shape through continued improvements.

Businesses should keep their disaster recovery plans in shape

Comparing a business without a tested disaster recovery plan to an out-of-shape individual who tries to run a marathon, Rachel Dines, a writer for, recently offered up 10 tips that business owners who are concerned about their business continuity planning would be wise to implement.

The article, which was published in CIO and also featured by PCWorld, contained a number of specifics that business owners can review to better resource the management of this essential business task this year. However, most notable among the author's suggestions were her recommendations for the exercises that should test these plans.

According to the author, recent research on the habits of business continuity and disaster recovery teams indicates that they generally perform much of the testing exercises alone, and often fail to communicate the results even to other departments. In addition to stressing the need for increased communication in this matter, Dines indicated that business owners should conduct a joint business continuity and disaster recovery exercise at least once a year.

Dines also did her best to clear up the misconception that table top exercises and IT walk-throughs aren't necessary for disaster recovery planning. Since research has indicated that many employees struggle with their roles even during the practice stages, these speculative scenarios may be the best way for businesses to find kinks in their contingency operations that may go otherwise unnoticed until it's too late.

To ensure these processes run as smoothly as possible, businesses that want to test their disaster recovery and business continuity plans may benefit from hiring an outside consulting firm to put these documents to the test. This way, business owners can ensure customers and shareholders that they have a disaster recovery plan that won't falter, should the true marathon of a small business recovery begin.