When a company suffers an outage that takes down essential systems, including IT, the importance of disaster recovery planning becomes immediately apparent.

Disaster recovery can help companies get vital systems back up and running and reduce the financial and reputational cost of any downtime experienced. A successful plan will have realistic and attainable objectives based on the business’s needs. This requires meticulous preparation, from undergoing a business impact analysis, to understanding and quantifying the company’s risks, to classifying and prioritising data for recoverability.

Although, according to the Allianz ‘Risk Barometer: Top Business Risks for 2018’ survey, 42 percent of companies of all sizes named business interruption as the most important risk they faced, a large number are insufficiently prepared for an outage and thus may suffer the consequences.

However, as IT becomes more integral to protecting business value, attitudes will need to change. Retaining and attracting customers following a poorly-handled outage can be very difficult, especially if trust has been lost.      

Planning for the future, learning from the past

While it is impossible for companies to prepare for every potential threat, they can put adequate response mechanisms in place. IT disaster recovery plans must be drawn up within overall business continuity plans, and companies must understand their priorities and recovery times. These objectives should be set out during the business impact analysis. Strategies should be developed to restore hardware, applications and data necessary to achieve business recovery.

Apr-Jun 2019 Issue

Richard Summerfield