I recently led an internal education session with 60 peers regarding the latest concerns companies have with their own disaster recovery (DR) systems. A couple months ago, for example, an IT Director asked me to help him show his CIO and CFO a comparison between do-it-yourself DR, 3rd party hot site DR, and Velocity’s managed DR services. He feared his executives would make their decision based on lowest cost, having assumed all their DR options were viable. 

Interestingly enough, I had just caught an eWeek article that said only 8 percent of federal IT executives were completely confident they could recover 100 percent of their data in the event of a disaster. Only 8%? Shouldn’t every company that spends money on disaster recovery be confident they are recoverable? Or at a minimum, shouldn’t the majority? 

Fortunately, in my role as Global Disaster Recovery Specialist at Velocity, I have the opportunity to engage with many organizations individually or at events at which I am presenting.  I have conducted my own polls with hundreds of IT professionals, from CIOs to system and application administrators, across an array of industries.  

The results of these discussions have been compelling—only 7% to 27% of companies that have invested in disaster recovery are completely confident they could recover those systems. 

What does this data reveal? Simple—most disaster recovery solutions are not viable. And, the vast majority of companies fall into one of the following three categories:

  • Have already purchased DR, but don’t know if it will work

  • Have already purchased DR, and it didn’t work when they needed it

  • Will invest in DR, but fear it won’t work

There is a fourth category—those who invest in disaster recovery and are completely confident they are recoverable. These companies are the model, but are rare.  They have dedicated disaster recovery teams and redundant infrastructure in geographically separated regions. Their DR testing is not just an IT exercise- they get to the business process level and ask users to validate their recoverability. Then they keep all recovery documentation updated continuously, according to strict change control processes. 

This is where most if not all companies want to be with disaster recovery. To get there you must ask yourself—what would it take to be completely confident we could recover our applications and data? Make a list, build a matrix. Define every component and potential single point of failure. Get as granular as you can. Then compare all your DR solution options across this matrix. The viability of your options will become clear. 

 

Some companies have the resources, experience and time to accomplish this on their own. Others need guidance. This is of course, my professional passion- helping CIOs identify the best options to ensure recoverability for their businesses.