Disaster recovery is crucial to ensure business continuity when disaster strikes. However, developing a proper disaster recovery plan can be difficult, full of pitfalls and indeed time consuming if done incorrectly. Despite this, many organizations still neglect to invest in proper disaster recovery measures citing resources, finances, and time restraints for not implementing a solution. It seems there is a fundamental lack of understanding of the consequences of poor disaster recovery measure and the fact that such consequences more often than not far outweigh the investment (of both time and money).
Below we highlight four pitfalls to avoid when planning and implementing cloud-based disaster recovery.
1. Lack of data redundancy
Organizations often neglect to establish a reliable way to recover their data and maintain business continuity when disaster strikes. Implementing data redundancy can accomplish this goal. Data redundancy entails storing multiple copies of your data in different environments, both online and offline. The general suggestion is to keep at least 3 copies of your data – two sets of backups in different locations and one offsite. Should you therefore experience data loss or a network failure, you have multiple backups in multiple locations, and you can recover and restore your data from one of these data environments.
2. Not focusing on business needs
Organizations often wind up spending more time on analyzing technology, data locations, and vendors than on understanding the needs of their business. Organizations (and key stakeholders) should start with considering what is most important to them should downtime occur or disaster strike before thinking about the technology that underpins disaster recovery. Key factors include, but are not limited to, access to email, for sales personnel CRM systems, for finance a functional financial management system, etc. Understanding the business needs of your organization will guide you to prioritize and conduct a proper assessment of your disaster recovery plan and disaster recovery technologies.
3. Underestimating recovery time
Underestimating recovery time is undoubtedly one of the most expensive pitfalls for any organization. It is also one of the pitfalls that most organizations realize too late. Organizations often focus their business continuity efforts on protecting and storing backups of critical business data offsite to save money. But they do not consider the recovery of the stored data under the numerous scenarios that can occur when disaster strikes. Having full knowledge of the recovery time of the business as well as the factors that influence such recovery could lead you to make different choices in respect of technology and service partner.
4. Inadequate testing
A disaster recovery plan is only useful if it works. It follows that it is crucial to regularly test your plan under simulated disaster conditions. Testing your plan regularly will ensure you have considered all contingencies and can ensure business continuity. However, testing takes time and resources away from daily operations and are often a challenge for IT departments. Although we acknowledge the time and resource constraints, these can be countered by testing over weekends or at night. The bottom-line remains: Unless you have a fully tested disaster recovery plan you will not be prepared to weather the challenges during or when the real disaster strikes. “The goal in testing your disaster recovery plan is to embrace finding and eliminating issues so that all stakeholders have confidence in the plan when a real disaster event happens.”
Disaster recovery planning is a crucial component of any organization’s risk management strategy. It enables critical services to continue during a disaster until normal operations can resume. CloudOak can assist with all your disaster recovery requirements. We take pride in the fact that our customers regard us a long-term partner who deliver excellent service and support.