The importance of Disaster Recovery planning

or business continuity planning... 

Recent devastation across Australia with floods and bushfires show us that there is a very real and likely possibility of disasters happening. Disasters came in all shapes and forms, from a power spike to a building on fire. And disasters have to be part of your business planning .
 
If the unthinkable happened, could your business survive and how?
 
Business continuity, at its core it's the ability for your organisation to recovery and continues working in the face of a disaster. In the not too distant past, this was considered the responsibility of the IT department, but the reality is that IT is just a small fraction of business continuity, yet plays a vital role. And the whole organisation has to be across BCP and implementing it. 
 
Since this is a technology blog, I'll focus on the technology side. Although some non-IT tips abound here as well.
 
There are some important things to consider; 

RPO and RTO - why are they important?

RPO - recovery point objective - in essence, how much data are you prepared to lose. If no data is your answer, then Disaster Recovery can potentially get very expensive. If 24hrs of data or even a week of data, then costs to ensure your RPO is met can go down considerably
RTO - recovery time objective - how quickly can we recover and have our data back in a place. The shorter the RTO typically the more expensive the solutions, potentially.
 
For large organisations, having an RPO/RTO measured in seconds to minutes, means they will be investing hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to achieve this, as the technologies involved can be complex and expensive and involve having data replicated instantly between primary datacentres and backup data centres and then making sure it all works and is tested on a regular basis. For most organisations, this was simply not attainable, it is cost prohibitive and they don't have the technology people resources to pull this off, that is until very recently.
 

Cloud

The number 1 reason to consider moving any and all your applications and services to the cloud is business continuity. 

Imagine if your;
  • accounting system
  • payroll system
  • CRM system
  • logistics system
  • HR system
  • email system
  • file storage system
just to name a few, were all in the cloud. You would be able to access them from anywhere on the planet, as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection.

Now imagine your current office building was demolished in a freak storm, gas explosion, flood etc. Yet all your IT systems were still available to you and in the short term your employees could work from home. Very recently demonstrated with the COVID-19 global pandemic. You would be 100% ahead of 90% of most organisations.

Don't imagine it

It can be done, we have helped a number of our clients get to a point where their physical office space is basically irrelevant, sure you might need to buy some new desktops/laptops (if your office was no longer available), but all your data and all your system would still be available. I have worked with several organisations that now run with a recovery point objective of 5 minutes of data loss, and a recovery time objective of essentially 0 (as relates to IT data systems), because their systems and data are in the cloud and available from anywhere.
 

If you would like to know more or need help with aspects of your IT including topics covered above click on the contact button for a obligation free chat.