This blog discusses the importance of business continuity plan and lists down a few pointers to be taken care of while formulating a disaster recovery strategy. It presents a basic understanding of the differences between backups and disaster recovery, terms that are erroneously used interchangeably.
No organization can ignore the importance of a well-defined business continuity plan. Disasters can happen anytime, without any warning resulting in service interruptions. Whether it is a natural disaster like cyclones, hurricanes or ransomware attacks or power outage or a critical bug in the production server, organizations need to have disaster recovery plan that can assure recoverability of data in least time possible and improve security of infrastructure while being compliant. Any downtime does not only affect the organization’s activities, but also affects its customers and partners’ businesses and loss of reputation. According to an IDC report on SMBs, network downtime costs nearly $20,000 per hour and a 2016 report by Ponemon Institute on Cost of Data Center Outages, the average downtime cost is around $531,060 per hour. Therefore, investments in backup and disaster recovery are completely justified.
Difference between Backup and Disaster Recovery (DR)
Before formulating effective strategies to tackle downtime, it is important to differentiate backup and Disaster Recovery. The purpose of backup is to have multiple copies of data that can be recovered when needed. Whereas, Disaster Recovery is a process for responding to a disaster, maintaining or establishing access to critical business data and resources to maintain business continuity. It is a common thing to mistake backup for DR. But having only extra copies of data doesn’t ensure continuity. There is no benefit of backup if restoration takes hours.
The next question that arises is what organizations need to look for when building a DR strategy. Some important pointers that need to be focused on while building a disaster recovery strategy are as follows:
- Compare ROIs with multiple vendors providing DR and backup services against cost of downtime per hour.
- Firms need to prioritize workloads by having very aggressive Recovery Time Objective (RTOs) and (Recovery Point Objective) RPOs for important workloads.
- Downtime cost calculation needs to take into account employee productivity loss, revenue loss, intangible loss and other additional costs like overtime costs to bring back normalcy, repairing costs of infrastructure etc.
- Another important factor to be considered while planning is compliance.
- Organizations need to ensure that the security of recovery infrastructure is better than the security of primary infrastructure.
- IT workload could be reduced with automated disaster recovery management.
This is an era of digital transformation, every customer expects services to be always available. A firm with an efficient resilience strategy can effectively absorb the impacts of expected or unexpected events without any reputation loss. Hence, it is imperative to have an efficient Disaster Recovery plan for all businesses, no matter how small or big.