Only 10 years ago, disaster recovery and business continuity were proven to be low on the average corporate priority list, and proven as such by the countless firms that were forced to shut their doors forever following a major outage. In the time since, there has been a consistent emphasis among small business advocates, government agencies and others to get these strategies in order more proactively, and strides have indeed been made in this regard.
“The private sector has not yet reached optimal DR.”
This does not necessarily mean that the private sector has reached an optimal landscape in which disaster is no longer a factor, but rather that more leaders are at least aware of the need for more progressive efforts in these areas of management. Downtime remains a devastating issue for most organizations, as a relatively short outage can lead to major headaches, financial losses and brand reputation hindrances before long.
The technologies necessary to defend against outages and disruptions are readily available today, including cloud backup and data redundancy tools, while many of the underlying solutions are already in place in the majority of businesses. The trick is to specialize management strategies to ensure that new trends are met with positive action, and that the firm is as protected as possible against the threat of disasters, be they natural or man-made.
The often overlooked requirement
Although business owners have appeared to begin embracing the fundamentals of disaster recovery and continuity, such as implementing cloud-based data backups and contingencies for apps, teamwork might sometimes be left out of the equation. The real test of a disaster plan will be how calm, cool and collected employees are when navigating the recovery process together, and how closely they can work together toward getting operations back up and running.
Testing, notably evaluations that involve simulations of what situations might occur in the event of a man-made or natural disaster that causes an outage, will help to reveal not only the effectiveness of the underlying technology, but the preparedness of the teams tasked with managing the plans as well. Bringing as many departments together and getting them on the same page is essential to ensuring the integrity of a recovery and continuity plan.
Within and outside of the IT department, businesses should test and look for gaps that are the products of poor communication or failure in the collaborative aspects of recovery. More advanced communication tools, as well as policies that accurately reflect the threats the business is trying to mitigate, can go a long way toward reducing the recovery timeframe and, as a result, actively lower the total cost of the events.
More convergence necessary
Now, it is certainly a good sign that the disaster recovery market is picking up pace so quickly, as it shows that business owners are becoming more conscious of the threats they face. Markets and Markets forecast the Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service industry to mature at a compound annual growth rate of 52.9 percent between 2015 and 2020, which would translate to expenditures expanding from $1.42 billion this year to $11.92 billion by the end of the decade.
However, convergence is necessary across the board. Cloud computing and similar advanced technologies come along with the opportunities to centralize and unify a greater variety of business operations, and passing over this endeavor is a costly mistake from both operational and financial standpoints. With more convergence, operations will likely run more smoothly despite the obstacles that sprout up along the path, and the same types of technologies that can be used for continuity will be helpful in daily activities as well.