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February 29, 2024

Four ways to improve IT disaster recovery execution

It’s taking longer than ever for organizations to recover from an outage or disaster event, regardless of whether they operate on cloud or on-premises architecture. Our recent IT disaster recovery survey found that 96% of financial services enterprises believe that it takes longer to fully recover from an IT service disruption now than 1-2 years ago. With recovery taking more time, it’s important to make sure your organization takes every measure possible to improve efficiency and execution.

Four ways to improve IT disaster recovery execution

Automated runbooks enable end-to-end IT DR execution

Unlike static documents or infrastructure as code (IaC) scripting tools for manual activities, automated runbooks elevate disaster recovery plans by providing efficiency and reducing risk. But, what is an automated runbook? 

Automated runbooks codify a set of tasks and their dependencies that need to be undertaken to complete a technology operation, such as IT disaster recovery. Runbooks contain both manual tasks, like determining if a failover should happen, and automated tasks that interact with your technology recovery tools and communications platforms. This enables the orchestration of both manual and automated tasks during an IT disaster recovery event in one place.

Runbook templates standardize IT disaster recovery 

Consistency is key to not only making sure that disaster recovery plans are executed but also evaluating what worked and didn’t work. With complexity increasing, templates provide a consistent way to define IT disaster recovery procedures. 

Runbook templates help simplify operations, like disaster recovery, and boost productivity. Additionally, approval workflows provide the control and governance to ensure your teams access and use the correct template. Improve control and save time with templates for IT disaster recovery scenarios. 

Runbook dashboards provide instant IT disaster recovery metrics

Reviewing static documents with hundreds or thousands of recovery tasks and updates is exhausting and can result in lots of human errors. This becomes even more challenging when managing multiple scenarios or recoveries at the same time. The interdependencies between applications and varying disaster recovery strategies increase the complexity of executing recoveries and tracking status.

Whether during a live or simulated IT disaster recovery event, instant access to real-time recovery data is crucial to understand progress. This includes knowing which tasks are complete, in progress, late or not started. Dashboards enable you to pivot and make quick, informed decisions during a recovery or test scenario to prevent delays and keep stakeholders informed.   

It’s not only important to understand recovery progress during an event - analyzing results post-mortem provides important metrics and details for lessons learned. For example, complying with regulations often requires attaining recovery time objectives (RTOs). Being able to effectively measure recovery time actuals (RTAs) against RTOs enables you to examine the effectiveness of your backup and recovery procedures and tools. 

Dashboards can be the catalyst to drive continuous improvement, manage risk and meet regulatory requirements with accurate, real-time reporting.

Automated runbook audit trails improve IT DR governance

Governance and regulatory compliance are key drivers for investing in and improving IT disaster recovery. For financial services in particular, regulations are becoming increasingly complex. For example, the Digital Operations Regulation Act, or DORA, has tight deadlines quickly approaching. The ability to “prove” the testing of IT disaster recovery scenarios requires not only a well-defined document of procedures but also the proof that the tasks of said procedures are done. 

Regulatory audit trails automate the tracking of every completed task including the details of who did what and when. It provides a level of assurance and governance that financial services and other enterprises need to help ensure regulatory compliance.  

Four features that enhance IT disaster recovery

If you’re still using documents, spreadsheets, and other non-automated or optimized tools for IT disaster recovery, you have the opportunity to gain more assurance in your IT DR procedures and avoid lengthy outages, hefty fines, and disgruntled customers.

Cutover’s Collaborative Automation platform provides:

  • Automated runbooks for precise and timely end-to-end execution across people and technology
  • Templates to ensure standardization and efficiency
  • Live dashboards that keep you up to date on the latest information during a recovery
  • Automated audit trails for regulatory compliance

Find out how Cutover can help your organization gain greater control over IT disaster recovery.

Improve IT disaster recovery with Cutover 

Cutover’s Collaborative Automation SaaS platform helps enterprises, including global financial services firms, connect teams and technology. The automated recovery platform helps unify IT disaster recovery with automated runbooks, templates, dashboards, audit trails and more.

Schedule a demo here to learn more or email

Collaborative Automation: Automate and standardize IT disaster recovery
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Kimberly Sack
IT Disaster Recovery
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