Studies show that most businesses either never reopen following a disaster or close within a year. An even more poignant truth is that most disasters can easily be mitigated, if not avoided entirely. All it takes is a robust business continuity plan to ensure that operations can resume as soon as possible or, better still, continue without disruption. Every business should plan for the worst, but that’s not to say it’s easy. Here are three big challenges to overcome:
#1. Aligning disaster recovery with business imperatives
While there are plenty of disaster recovery planning templates to help you get started, there’s no such thing as a solution that works for every business. No two organizations are the same, and it’s crucial that your plan aligns with your business goals and priorities. Every plan starts with a list of business processes ordered by priority. Naturally, mission-critical processes will take precedence over ancillary processes that your business can survive without for an extended period of time.
Every business process covered in the plan should have its own recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). This refers to how much data you can afford to lose and how much time it should take to get that process back up and running. These parameters will help you prioritize more effectively and determine the optimal frequency for backing up your data. Each application and process will definitely have a different RPO and RTO.
#2. Leveraging redundancies to minimize disruption
Backing up data is just a small part of business continuity and disaster recovery planning. It’s not nearly enough to just have a process for copying everything over to a removable media or a backup storage network. Furthermore, if all your backups are stored in-house, any disaster that renders your primary workspace unusable could also claim your backups. Even off-site backups may still be in danger if they’re incorporated in your main business network.
Having off-site redundancies, such as virtual machines stored in remote data centers, will prepare your business for any eventuality. By moving your operations to the cloud and adding disaster recovery into the process, many instances of data loss will even go unnoticed as your redundant systems roll into action instead. By having at least two copies of every application and data-bearing resource, you can mitigate IT disruption.
#3. Fulfilling industry compliance and security obligations
One of the many benefits of migrating to the cloud is that it comes with far more options for backup and disaster recovery. However, many disaster recovery teams don’t realize that data stored in the cloud is their responsibility. Although they know that the data is theirs, they often make the mistake of assuming that their provider is entirely responsible for compliance with data security and privacy regulations.
Although many cloud vendors use a shared responsibility model, as outlined in their service level agreements (SLAs), it’s ultimately up to you to choose providers that are themselves fully compliant with any regulations concerning your industry. However, it’s still up to you to protect your data with the right combination of user-level measures and organization-level protection. It’s also worth noting that having a documented disaster recovery plan is a legal requirement for many organizations.
Are you hoping for technology that works just the way you want it to without constantly living in fear that your business will fall victim to the next big disaster? Midwest Data Center gives you peace of mind. Call us today to find out how.