3 out of 4 Businesses Currently Failing at Business Continuity and DR

on April 21, 2015 Resilience - Growth & Strength and Tags: , , , , , with 0 comments
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It is shocking to me that three out of four businesses are currently failing at business continuity and disaster recovery. This fact is quite staggering in a world where disasters—natural, technological, economic and otherwise—are increasing in severity and frequency. Let’s look at the five things that are preventing a majority of companies from protecting their downside exposure:

1. Reliance on outdated forms of recovery technology 

A lot of companies think they have disaster recovery and business continuity covered because they have a backup solution in place. In this digital age, backup is no longer equivalent to ensuring recovery. Backup tapes have a 71% failure rate, and replicating data to tapes or disc can be extremely time consuming. As the cost of downtime for any company continues to increase with our increased reliance on technology, not having a quick and thorough recovery solution in place could jeopardize the survival of your business.

2. Not having a comprehensive enough Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

While some companies may have a quality solution in place for data restoration and recovery, that is only one piece of the business resilience puzzle. A complete BCP includes technology, people and processes, and details how the three relate to each other in a time of crisis. A good plan provides details on alternative locations to work from in the case of a facility-related crisis and gives instructions to all employees for how to proceed during different emergency situations. In other words, a comprehensive BCP should provide you with guidelines for how to proceed if your power were to go out for days/weeks, if your facility was unusable, if your communication lines went down, etc.

3. Poor testing of BCPs

The saying, ‘practice makes perfect’ applies in business resilience just as it does everywhere else. The only way to make sure your plan will work is to test and test again. However, only 13% of companies with BCPs currently test their plans. Of those 13%, half do not document results; and only a quarter of those who fail their plans re-test as a follow up (Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark Report). To achieve true business resilience, time and resources need to be devoted to the regular testing and internal communication needs to happen to get everyone on board.

13%

Companies with BPCs who test their plans

50%

Of this 13%, companies who document their results

25%

Companies who fail their plans and re-test as a followup

4. Not adjusting/updating BCPs to account for change

With the rapid pace of technological innovation that now characterizes the world we live in, business resilience solutions need to be constantly adjusted and updated to account for any changes within your organization. Companies are now constantly adding and removing applications and software programs and these changes need to be accounted for in BCPs to ensure that all data and processes can be recovered in the case of an emergency. Additionally, anytime there are staffing changes or new hires, BCPs should be updated to ensure everyone involved is clear on roles and responsibilities in times of crisis.

5. Resistance to 3rd party solutions

While it is understandable that many companies want to keep their business continuity and disaster recovery efforts in house, the increasing complexity of the digital landscape is making that harder and harder to achieve. By partnering with a third-party, internal staff is able to focus on strategy and execution rather than managing operational tasks. A recent IDC study found that enterprises that performed technology recovery in-house lost an average of $4 million per disaster incident while those that chose to partner with a managed recovery service provider lost an average of $1.1 per incident. So while companies might believe they are saving money by doing things internally, it can end up costing much more in the long run.

~ Bill

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