Helpful guidance in disaster recovery planning

Downtime has become one of the greater threats to corporate operational continuity in the past few years, and so many different types of issues can directly lead to major problems with IT department functionality and general processes in other areas of business. This is among the many reasons why companies – notably small businesses – have begun to invest more into continuity and disaster recovery assets, as the cost of outages can be monumental.

For example, Gartner’s Andrew Lerner reported last summer that the average cost of an outage will generally begin at $5,600 for each minute of network downtime, and work into the hundreds of thousands of dollars when reaching hours of consistent disruption. Considering the fact that some of the more effective and powerful solutions that can deter downtime will be far more affordable than those damages, the time is right to continue expanding upon fortifications to infrastructure, software and any assets that are used to manage data.

Simple suggestions
Research and Markets recently released a report on disaster recovery, enterprise security and outsourced cloud services that revealed some of the more consistent trends in continuity planning among modern businesses. According to the report, a challenging aspect of disaster recovery within the survey pool was found to be symptomatic of poor testing and refinement leading up to an actual event.

For years now, this has been a widely discussed topics in the recovery and continuity realms, as so many organizations will put a wealth of time and effort into developing a tight plan, then not test it and see it fail when push comes to shove. The analysts stated that the much higher frequency of companies leveraging cloud computing to backup data is worthy of admiration, but that few understand the other aspects of continuity.

Testing needs to be a priority within DR plans.
Testing needs to be a priority within DR plans.

Data backup is a primary demand of recovery, but network issues, other problems within the infrastructure, application outages and more can wreak just as much havoc on normal operations, if not more. To get moving in the right direction, Research and Markets suggested focusing on two core matters – recovery time objective and recovery point objective – with a specific focus on being exhaustive and comprehensive when listing the various requirements to achieve these goals.

Always test
Simply put, a disaster recovery plan that does not include direct and clear components related to testing and refinement will not be all that useful over time. Even if the company has developed an iron-tight plan for the moment, the progression and evolution of threats moves so quickly that these strategies will likely be irrelevant before long. In some situations, businesses will not have the skills or resources necessary to complete testing and revision procedures accurately, and this is when a managed service provider can be highly useful.

Since the business will be highly reliant upon the functionality of these plans to survive, investing in outsourced services ought to be viewed as a worthy investment when necessary.