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Recovery from Disaster Miscalculated by Most Companies

by on September 15, 2010

How long will it take for your organization to recover from a disaster? Chances are that your response to that question is woefully inaccurate. Many people underestimate the window of disruption caused by calamity at their businesses.

Disaster_recovery The disaster recovery (DR) vision at many companies don’t take into account all the implications of business continuity, which go beyond just getting the email system operational again, a security professional recently told CIO magazine. They include business, legal and regulatory requirements, and can impact a firm’s brand, an impact that can linger even after your systems get back online, he added.

What may seem like short Response Time Objectives (RTO) to some organizations, may actually be light years in terms of when a company really needs to recover to avoid lasting damage to its operations. A study by Gartner, for example, revealed that 63 percent of the respondents pegged the RTO for their mission-critical business processes to be less than 24 hours. “The problem is that, in some circumstances, 24 hours is not a short RTO, it’s a disaster in its own right,” Tim Mendham wrote in CIO. “In some instances, a response within minutes, if not seconds, is a concrete requirement.”

When evaluating your DR plan, Scott Henderson, CIO with Runge, a mining software and consulting company, recommends these items be taken into account.

  • Use multiple layers of protection
  • Understand how people use IT
  • Business continuity is not just a process, procedure or structural thing. It involves people.
  • Don’t put your business continuity plan on the shelf. You need active management rather than an expensive paper weight.
  • What was right five years ago is not necessarily OK today. Things change.
  • The IT department needs to be easy to do business with.
  • Reference all areas, physical and software. It might not just be a system crash. It could be a building collapse. Be aware of security in all circumstances.

One of the simplest ways for your organization to prepare is by having software in place to help you recover from a disaster and locate the data you need instantly.  Of course, we (and many of the world’s leading companies for that matter) are partial to our Vertices Tape Management System 😉 But regardless of what brand you choose, it is crucial to have a concrete, easily-actionable plan in place that allows you to bring your systems and data back online quickly.

And like the fire drills we all had when we were in school, your IT needs to be trained, prepared, and ready to take action the minute a disaster happens.

Which leads me to these question: Do you think your company is ready for a disaster? Does your organization practice any drills to keep people sharp? What do you think needs improvement, even from an industry point of view?

One Comment
  1. You should definitely try to prepare for disasters. Software and plenty of good contacts are needed before the disaster occurs.

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