The Importance of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

As more businesses rely on integrated technology systems to facilitate operations across the entire organization, they also need to recognize the importance of disaster recovery. Businesses need to ask themselves; what will happen when our systems fail? Do we have a plan for recovering our data and restoring operations? What kinds of risks are we susceptible to within our industry?

The risk of facing an IT disaster is real. In fact, one-third of organizations have reported an incident that required disaster recovery.

Defining and IT Disaster

So what is disaster recovery and why is it so important for your business? Simply put, disaster recovery is the system/framework that your business has put in place to respond to IT disasters. Disasters involve hardware failure, cyber-attacks, human error and inclement weather. Basically, anything that would lead to your business systems not functioning.

Most businesses are not adequately prepared

The plain truth about the current environment is that most businesses are not adequately prepared to handle an IT disaster. This can be largely attributed to a disconnect between executives and IT professionals. While 70% of executives believe their organization is well prepared for a disaster, less than 50% of IT personnel hold that view.

Therefore, the first step for these businesses is to implement better channels of communication in order to enlighten their executives about the current state of affairs.

Let’s look at industrial trends

As far as disaster recovery is concerned, some industries seem to have a leg up on their counterparts. Among the industry leaders in disaster preparedness are the banking, governmental and technology sectors.

The healthcare, education and manufacturing industries seem to be lagging behind. This is as a result of slowly adopting technologies (such as in the manufacturing industry), relying on a public cloud that is prone to failure (healthcare industry), and the use of backup tapes and mirror sites as a primary backup strategy (used both in education and healthcare).

How to Prepare your Business for an IT Disaster

Adequate preparation for an IT disaster is a team effort. It involves the IT pros, executives and employees all being on the same page. Here are 3 steps to help you prepare for a disaster:

1.     Establishing DR Compliance Requirements

Your business needs to have clearly established guidelines for complying with IT standards and responding to disasters. Compliance begins with clearly established procedures that employees must follow when using company systems.

Compliance also involves properly funding disaster recovery initiatives within the organization, and outlining procedures that must be followed when a threat is experienced.

2.     Duplicate / Redundant Systems at off-site location

Acquiring duplicate, redundant systems at an off-site location can serve as excellent plan for Disaster Recovery.  These systems can be equal configuration or scaled back version to keep cost down.  This also allows for redundant system failover in the event of unexpected major hardware failure on main production system. With this approach you have DR plan covered as well as redundant system failover in event of major system failure as result of any un-planned event.

3.     Use of Hosted Disaster Recovery Solutions

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a reliable solution for quickly responding to emergencies. In fact, DRaaS can enable you to recover data in near real-time over the cloud. Most Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) have expertise in disaster recovery and can manage your IT infrastructure offsite.

Therefore, using the cloud and offsite solutions as an asset for data recovery can help you quickly and efficiently resume operations after experiencing an IT disaster.

4.     Increasing Awareness about Disaster Recovery

Your business will not be able to implement the above solutions without making executives aware of the benefits. In fact, only 5 in 10 business executives are familiar with DRaaS. This awareness gap needs to be reduced in order for more businesses to acquire funding for disaster recovery efforts.

As businesses continue to recognize the importance of having a robust disaster recovery strategy, there is still a need for better communication between IT professionals and business executives. This will result in the implementation of effective disaster recovery solutions that will ensure business continuity. Speak to the experts at Source Tech for help implementing a Disaster Recovery plan for your organization.

Published at: 13-10-2017
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