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Why Disaster Recovery Plans Fail

Why Disaster Recovery Plans Fail

Launching a successful disaster recovery plan is easier said than done. Technology has come a long way and disaster recovery plans are far more complex than they used to be. In fact, there are so many moving parts and “best practices” that many disaster recovery plans end up failing. That’s not something you want to experience. Make sure your plan is stable and avoid these common reasons disaster recovery plans fail.

No One Knows About the Plan

  • For a disaster recovery plan to be successful, it needs to be implemented throughout the entire organization. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. One of the biggest reasons plans flop is because companies fail to communicate the plan details effectively. Usually, this is because the plan was only created to comply with an audit or mandate. The plan is never actually integrated into the company, which renders it useless. If you have a disaster recovery plan, make sure everyone is on board with it. Training sessions are a great way to familiarize your employees with the plan protocols.

The Plan is Too Complicated…

  • Disaster plans are complex, true, but being overly complex can mean failure. Imagine trying to recover your database after a disaster, only to have to go through a novel-sized manual of steps. It’s confusing and inefficient. Too many tables and reference points will only muddle the plan. Your plan should be concise and easy to follow.

…Or too Bare-Bones

  • On the other end of the spectrum, a plan that is too simple can also be an issue. If there aren’t enough actionable steps, it will leave users scratching their heads, wondering what to do next. A plan must be both broad and deep enough to manage high-level data. The trick to developing a successful plan is to achieve a balance between complexity and simplicity.

The Plan is Gathering Dust

  • The importance of testing and updating your plan cannot be stressed enough. The majority of plans fail because they were not adequately updated or tested beforehand. Some companies simply create a plan and then put it on the shelf. How do you know if the plan works if it has never been updated or tested? Not only does testing help you find areas that need tweaking, but it also helps employees get familiar with how the plan works. Testing can be expensive and time-consuming, but it’s worth it to make sure your organization’s data is protected. Testing should be done once or twice a year. You need to check your plan regularly as well. Whenever something in your company changes, whether it be new hardware, applications, staff, or something else, your plan becomes outdated. Therefore, reviewing your plan once a month or bimonthly will make sure it’s properly configured.

The Backup Plan is Weak

  • Backup planning is critical to the success of your disaster recovery plan. Many companies have a disaster recovery plan in place but don’t have sufficient backup power and capability. What is your backup power source? Is it enough to handle your power needs? Furthermore, do your backup servers or other components have the appropriate capacity? Make sure your backup data isn’t corrupted or out-of-date (that’s why regular testing is essential). You may also want to think about where your backup data is stored. In the event of a major natural disaster, an offsite server is a godsend.


Your disaster recovery plan doesn’t have to take up every moment of your time, but it does deserve regular attention. Investing in your first plan, providing regular maintenance, and making sure your staff are well-informed are the keys to a strong disaster recovery plan.

We can help make sure your disaster recovery plan is fail-proof. Contact us today.




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