How Strong is Your IT Disaster Recovery?

There’s an awful lot going on in the world right now. Political unrest, natural disasters, social difference; If you can name it, it’s probably happening.


So how do you make sure that your company’s IT data is safe and secure during a disaster, be it man made or of the natural variety? You need an IT disaster recovery plan.

Does your organization have an IT disaster recovery plan in place? If so, good for you. If not, why not? Who are you relying on to recover your data should something go wrong?

On a recent episode of The Continuity Forecast, John Jackson Executive Advisor and Co-Founder at Fusion Risk Management stopped by to talk about IT disaster recovery. What is it, why do you need it, and how do you manage it?

Why Does It Matter?

Think of everything that your company does on any given day. From finance to legal, from sales to HR, everything you do is done on computers.

So what happens if there’s an outage of the computers that are used to run your business? Not just in your office, but at your data centers or server farms? Can you get your data back?

Odds are, without an IT disaster recovery plan, you’d be dead in the water. Most organizations can’t fall back on manual procedures because everything they do is based on constant connectivity and network reliability.

Disasters can happen at any time, and for most organizations, its “when” not “if.” You’re likely to have some sort of disaster at some point. Whether it’s the result of a storm, or just a human error made in house, your systems are likely to be disrupted. W

Internal or Vendor?

So let’s say you’ve decided that you can no longer operate without a cohesive disaster recovery plan. Great. Where do you start? Do you procure a vendor to manage your disaster recovery plan? Or do you do it all in house?

Planning activities

Vendor recovery means simply that you’d be relying on a vendor to get your organization back up and running if and when disaster strikes. Someone else is tasked with the responsibility of developing, implementing, and executing the plan.

The advantage to this is that you don’t have to have duplicate systems and backups of your data, but the downside is that if something goes wrong for you, odds are it may go wrong for someone else, and most people don’t want to wait in line to get their systems back up and running.

This is where the internal option comes in.

The internal option is the designation of existing data centers, or the creation of a new one, for the sole purpose of disaster recovery. You’re putting dollars and resources into duplication of data and systems, but those recovery sites are yours and yours alone.

You’ll pay a lower cost for a vendor, but get far more reliability and peace of mind with the internal option.

What if I Outsource?

“But we outsource our IT operations, so we should be good to go, right?”

You may want to reread that contract.

When most organizations outsource IT operations, they’re trying to cut costs. Outsourcing companies know that, and they’re looking for the most expedient way to solve your problem, and most of the contracts out there don’t include disaster recovery.

Say you work for ABC manufacturing, and you to go XYZ outsourcing company for your IT operations.

You give them your equipment, they take it and move it into a data center, and then a disaster strikes, and your data needs to be brought back online. More often than not, XYZ doesn’t have anything in the contract for disaster recovery because they stripped it out of the contract to bring the price down.

So you’ll either need to ensure that XYZ provides proper disaster recovery, or go to somewhere like IBM to get a disaster recovery contract so that when disaster strikes, your data isn’t lost.

Just because you’ve outsourced your IT operations does not mean you have a disaster recovery program

Disaster Preparedness

Again, for most companies, disaster is a “when” not an “if.” But just because your company will likely eventually have to face this challenge doesn’t mean that you can’t face it prepared and confident.

This post is based on an interview with John Jackson from Fusion Risk Management.

To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Continuity Forecast.

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