“Disaster comes in many forms. It could be a natural calamity or it could be a massive cybersecurity breach,” according to Matt Tyrer, solutions marketing manager for Commvault. “A company of any size should have in-place a DR plan which outlines how its team can get the business up and running within a specified span of time after the disruption.”
SMBs not prepared for disaster
Unfortunately, a lot of companies, especially in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) sector do not have and have not kept their DR plans up to date.
About three years ago, the EMC Corp. surveyed Canadian IT professionals regarding their organization’s preparedness to face unplanned downtime or data loss.
As many as 36 per cent of the respondents said their organizations lack any sort of disaster recovery plan, even when 65 per cent considered data protection critical to business success. More troubling, was the finding that as many as 66 per cent of the respondents said they were not confident that their organization could recover all its data after an incident.
The cost of downtime
Downtime, especially unplanned ones, expose companies to potentially huge financial loses, said Tyrer.
Research conducted by analyst firm IDC placed the average annual cost of unplanned application downtime for Fortune 1000 companies at somewhere between $1.25 billion and $2.5 billion. Data loss and downtime costs the Canadian economy approximately $16 billion yearly, according to EMC Global.
The average mid-sized company is likely to have 15 to 18 business hours of network, system or application downtime, each year, according to IDC. The analyst firm estimates that a business can lose $92,000 every hour that workers, partners, and customers are not able to connect.
Furthermore, research from EMC Global estimates that data loss and the resulting downtime costs the Canadian economy approximately $16 billion each year.
It’s high time that businesses rethink disaster recover, said Tyrer. Beyond the financial loss, companies also need to consider the hit on their reputation.
Key DR plan issues to keep in mind
Determine critical assets – One of the first things consider in building a disaster recovery plan is finding out what are your organization’s key assets, said Tyrer. It’s important to determine what are the key equipment, systems, and data that need to be protected. You may find that some operations and systems need to be backed-up, so may even require colocation services, while there are others that would need less attention. A business impact analysis (BIA) for IT systems will help identify the dependencies and priorities around the organization’s various systems. The BIA will make it easier for teams to prioritize processes when recovery is underway.
Analyze potential threats – As mentioned earlier, disaster could come in many forms. A good DR plan should take into consideration a full spectrum of potential incidents that could interrupt the business. For instance, if a cyberattack or a natural disaster shuts down a server in one location, does your business have a failover facility in that is outside of the affected grid.
Think about other stakeholders – “Flip things around,” said Tyrer. Think about other parties that may be affected by the disaster that has struck your organization. Are you doing all you can to protect your clients, customers, and partners? Commvault’s disaster recovery plan “is not just for ourselves but also our customers…we want to make sure we can also help them recover through our software,” Tyrer said.
Regular practices, updates – The DR plan is not written in stone. It needs to be continually revisited and updated where needed. Companies also need to make sure that everyone knows what their roles are and what to do in a disaster. Plans need to regularly tested, and staff needs to conduct drills to keep their disaster recovery skills up to par.
The cloud and automation – Automation and cloud technology can help organizations streamline the process of data backup and disaster recovery. About 42 per cent of Commvault’s customers is moving disaster recovery to the cloud.
From a single platform, Commvault’s solution enables users to:
- Streamline and automate disaster recovery operations—including failover, failback, testing, and post-recovery configuration
- Orchestrate complex or uncommon disaster recovery scenarios to reduce human errors and manual interventions
- Optimize costs by tailoring recovery objectives to multiple and distinct businesses and application requirements
Commvault’s services enable the recovery of applications and data on-premises and in the cloud, across different types of cloud and devices, said Tyrer.
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