Disaster recovery is becoming increasingly complex in the face of new challenges and threats, including terror threats, data breaches, supply chain risk, extreme weather events and political factors such as Brexit. There are internal factors influencing this, too. Organizations are becoming increasingly vulnerable to change and uncertainty as they become more complex, virtual and interdependent, with further pressures exerted by cost reduction programs and aggressive streamlining.
Many enterprises are focusing on the need for resilience, which aims to avoid incidents and disasters altogether. However, there will always be a need for fast and effective disaster recovery. Traditional methods of preparing for and executing a disaster recovery event are increasingly becoming inadequate in the face of increased risk and complexity. Here’s why:
Stale Disaster Recovery plans
Building a disaster recovery plan and then leaving it until you need it is unlikely to turn out a good result. Plans can quickly go out of date and unless they are regularly reviewed and updated, you may find yourself facing a major incident with a disaster recovery plan that bears no resemblance to the current state of your technology and processes.
Slow response caused by a lack of data
According to Richard Cooper, Managing Director of Europe for Fusion Risk Management, “Companies can never be 100% resilient. They can, however, be much better prepared to minimize the impact of a situation and stop an incident becoming a crisis. To do this, they must be able to rapidly “operationalize” data to rapidly make informed decisions. Without reliable, up-to-date information, a company’s ability to react to a situation will be delayed, and there will be the probability of a higher impact.” Fast response to an incident is more important than ever due to the expectation of “always-on” services and having reliable, real-time data is key to this. Moving data out of “dark matter” in the enterprise and making it readily available during a real disaster recovery event helps to increase response time and reduce negative impacts.
Rehearsal activities such as Data Centre Recovery tests aim to create preparedness for a smooth failover in the case of a real disaster event. However, these can be very staged and require a lot of preparation that would not be possible in the heat of the moment. For some organizations, the time in which they’re undertaking a disaster recovery test may be the only time they’re truly prepared for a real incident. Creating flexible templates for different scenarios will help to reduce the preparation time needed and speed up response times. Testing is the only way to reveal flaws, issues, problems, shortcoming, mistakes and holes in your restore plan. Tests should be run once or twice a year and be as close to reality as possible. This means not only testing technical systems but processes and other factors as well.
Incidents and outages cause a major impact for businesses so naturally executives will want to know what’s going on in the moment and whether contingency plans need to be made from the business’s point of view. Communications with stakeholders to keep them updated on progress can take valuable time and effort during a disaster recovery, making the job much more difficult and stressful. Visualization and automated comms will make the whole process much less stressful and keep execs informed in real-time, so you don’t have to field phone calls and emails while firefighting.
Lack of enterprise resilience
It’s not a case of resilience vs recovery, the two go hand in hand. Outages are best avoided but, when they do happen, they should be smaller and less impactful and you should have the capability to deal with them more quickly and efficiently.
There are many factors influencing an enterprise’s response to a tech crisis. Cutover brings together both the human and machine efforts required for effective resilience planning and disaster recovery testing and execution. Request a demo to see it in action for yourself.