Disaster Recovery Integration Strategies

In the ever changing business atmosphere of mergers and acquisitions, companies often struggle with how to integrate or in some cases build a new Disaster Recovery program. Most mergers include due diligence to measure the financial and operational health of a target company but IT health is not as closely considered. IT, Disaster Recovery, and Business Continuity capabilities and rarely assessed in depth and as a result can pose challenges to leaders of an existing Disaster Recovery Program. IT leaders today are challenged to not only integrate applications and physical infrastructure but to also consider how to bring in new team members into an existing program.

Having experienced over a dozen acquisitions and divestitures, we have learned much about how to successfully integrate new groups into an expanding Disaster Recovery Program. Among the lessons learned, several strategies stand out that made the transition smoother:

  • Start with face-to-face introductions with the new teams to explain the existing Disaster Recovery Program.
  • Understand your audience. Some teams will have no Disaster Recovery experience and may have never tested while others may have a more mature program.
  • Listen to all points of view regardless of their level of DR maturity. Don't assume your way is the only way.
  • Conduct a high level assessment of their Disaster Recovery capabilities including backup strategies, testing regimen, and a physical review of their data center. The DR Readiness Assessment is a useful tool to conduct this type of analysis.
  • Provide a roadmap for the new team to begin working on the integration including documentation requirements, testing parameters, and application identification.
  • Set realistic expectations for the team's first test in the integrated environment with a limited scope of applications and basic recovery objectives. Many companies use the "crawl, walk, run" approach to testing in order to provide structure and a reasonable scope of only a few applications will allow the teams to acclimate themselves with the new infrastructure environment.

discovaIT has the expertise to help you assess existing and new DR programs. We can help you figure out if you are inheriting a program with proper DR capabilities or one that will need more help.