2024 Gartner® report: Tips to bolster your disaster recovery program
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January 18, 2024

6 benefits of advanced automation for IT disaster recovery

Automation, when used the right way, can provide many operational and financial benefits. It’s easy to surmise that the more advanced the automation, the greater the benefit. However, Cutover’s latest IT disaster and cyber research survey proves it. We’ve found that enterprises with advanced automation are reaping benefits beyond just the standard lower costs, fewer manual tasks, and increased productivity. In the survey, advanced automation is described as a well-defined automation strategy with clear milestones that is regularly reviewed.

Benefits of advanced automation for IT disaster recovery 

In comparison to those with less automation, enterprises with advanced automation in IT disaster recovery are more likely to:

  1. Look to further improve and invest in disaster recovery and automation

It’s unsurprising that 91% of enterprises with advanced automation recognize the need to increase investment in disaster recovery and agree that the best-performing companies will have automated disaster recovery by 2025. These enterprises cite the following benefits of disaster recovery automation: enhanced customer trust and retention, safeguarding reputation, and ensuring regulatory compliance. 

85% of enterprises with advanced disaster recovery automation think disaster recovery needs to be more automated within the next 12 months compared to only 69% of less advanced organizations. As with any strategy, automation strategies need to be reviewed and refined to account for emerging technologies, changing priorities or other organizational or business changes. 

  1. Have in-built technology resilience

Technology resilience includes the preparedness to overcome challenges when the technology stack is compromised. It’s a foundational and ever-evolving need for enterprises and is often measured on a maturity scale. Cutover’s recent research survey used the following scale:

  • Ad hoc - siloed and left to individual users and system owners
  • Passive - relies on manual backups and duplicate systems
  • Active - applications, systems and databases are actively synchronized
  • In-built resilience - resilience is architected throughout the technology stack 

Our research finds that 33% of those with advanced automation characterize technology resilience as in-built compared to only 9% of enterprises with less advanced automation. There is a need for organizations to advance their automation strategy to help mature their technology resilience. 

  1. Recognize that resilience is as much about culture and processes as technology

Resilience is about more than technology and tooling. Culture and process are just as important, if not more, than the technology itself. You can have the latest tools across the technology recovery stack, but if your team doesn’t have a well-defined IT disaster or cyber recovery plan - the tooling will fall short. The same can be said for culture. 

87% of enterprises with advanced disaster recovery automation agree that resilience is as much about culture and processes as technology. There needs to be a culture of trust and responsibility within a business. A comprehensive recovery program, particularly for cybersecurity, becomes the foundation of a company’s integrity. It sets the foundation for employees and partners, showing commitment to privacy, protecting information and the values of the organization. 

  1. Evaluate and update disaster recovery plans constantly 

A solid disaster recovery plan is regularly tested, exercised and updated from lessons learned, and can help minimize outages and save on associated costs. Conversely, an outdated disaster recovery plan can cause significant business risks with detrimental impacts on employees, customer service, reputation, and overall business health. 

Our recent survey found that 31% of enterprises last evaluated or updated their disaster recovery plans 12 months ago and an additional 26% evaluated or updated one to two years ago. While IT infrastructure and tooling may not change each year, it’s recommended to evaluate plans ‘more frequently’ to account for significant changes in infrastructure or architecture, dependencies or staffing.

Those with advanced automation are more likely to evaluate and update disaster recovery plans more frequently. Over double the amount of enterprises with advanced automation are constantly evaluating or updating their disaster recovery plans, compared to those with less automation (27% compared to 12%).

  1. Report a recovery time objective (RTO) of less than one hour

Measuring recovery time actuals (RTAs) against RTOs is a common method to govern IT disaster recovery health. While not the sole indicator of a strengthened recovery posture, RTOs provide a critical metric when calculating restoration time after an outage or downtime. In conjunction with recovery point objectives, RTOs are one of the more common metrics used to measure IT disaster recovery. 

Enterprises often tier RTOs by the type of application - for example, mission-critical, business-critical and low priority. Our findings show that 51% of enterprises with advanced automation have an RTO for mission-critical applications of one hour or less, compared to only 35% of those with less advanced automation.

  1. Consider themselves as more profitable than others in the sector

Automation benefits extend beyond removing repetitive, mundane tasks and freeing up IT teams to focus on more strategic activities. What’s better than reducing costs, increasing productivity and gaining efficiency? Profitability. 

76% of enterprises with advanced automation characterize themselves as more profitable compared to others in the same industry sector. As an indicator of financial health, profitability is key to growth and plays a critical role in informed business decision making. 

Organizations with advanced automation in IT disaster recovery are more likely to see benefits

The results are in. Enterprises with advanced automation also evaluate and update disaster recovery plans more frequently, have shorter recovery time objectives for mission-critical applications, and consider themselves more profitable. If you haven’t assessed your automation strategy for IT disaster and cyber recovery, it’s time.

Cutover can help. Our Collaborative Automation SaaS platform connects teams and technology with automated runbooks to standardize and automate IT operations processes like IT disaster and cyber recovery. Contact us here or email info@cutover.com

Download the Cutover IT disaster and cyber recovery insights and trends report

Are you ready for the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) deadline?
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