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Thursday, 07 January 2016 11:16

Disaster recovery’s Achilles heel

Posted By  Peter Groucutt

Even the best disaster recovery technology is useless without the correct practices behind it, says Databarracks MD Peter Groucutt.

Organisations should be taking full advantage of the benefits of disaster recovery (DR) technologies, but sadly even the most sophisticated technologies can prove to be useless if the correct practices aren’t in place behind them.  

 Business continuity is the responsibility of the entire business, whereas disaster recovery usually relates specifically to IT. IT teams have been guilty in the past of thinking about disaster recovery purely in terms of the technologies they use, but that’s only half the story. The industry has progressed rapidly over the last few years, and there are a lot of great technologies available. But it’s absolutely crucial to look beyond the tech to the processes behind it all to make sure your DR is actually working to achieve the real recovery needs.

It’s so important for organisations to understand their risks to continuity, and to look at how disaster recovery technology actually supports the business in its operation – not just technically but also with how you communicate with staff and customers. Large organisations do this very well, but for smaller organisations without a dedicated Business Continuity Management (BCM) team, it is much more difficult. SMEs can’t always afford consultants or BCM software tools required for that level of planning. The growth of cloud services has meant that disaster recovery has become accessible to businesses of all sizes, but that should be the case for processes and practices as well as technology.

DR providers should be adding value to their customers’ organisations, and this shouldn’t just stop at the technology level. Providers have a wealth of knowledge and expertise when it comes to identifying gaps in an organisation’s business continuity plan, and simplifying and improving it. Providers should be working with their customers to improve their processes at every stage, and getting them thinking about business continuity planning in ways they perhaps never have.

At Databarracks, we have worked with INONI, who are experts in risk, resilience and business continuity software, to develop a set of tools specially designed to help organisations review their business continuity plans, identify gaps and display findings in a very visual way that’s easy for the whole business to consume. It’s really a way for the IT team to start conversations about disaster recovery best practice with the rest of the business.

Organisations today understand disaster recovery, and they realise how critical it is. What we need to concentrate on now is getting better at it, and making sure we are using the technology to serve us correctly, so that should disaster strike, businesses are completely protected.

About the author

Peter Groucutt, is Managing Director at Databarracks. Prior to forming Databarracks with his co-directors Peter spent several years in various operational and financial risk management roles within the banking sector latterly developing applications to monitor VAR (Value Added Risk) across banks’ treasury and hedged products.

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