I saw a great article by Rachel Dines of Forrester Research in Information Week’s special report on Big Data. Dines makes the case that we have moved into an era where we can no longer measure data or disaster recovery. Instead we must measure data and IT resiliency. Our business models just cannot tolerate the downtime or time to recover. This enlightened line of thinking reminded me so much of the whole Continuous Data Protection (CDP) idea that is ingrained within our backup solutions.
In her article, Dines says that today’s “organizations must evolve beyond reactive business continuity and IT disaster recovery (BC/DR) to proactive business technology resiliency.” She goes on to define resiliency, contrasting it with recovery.
You can read her full article for the details, but I sum it up as this:
- Recovery indicates that something went down, and you have to bring it back up.
- Resiliency indicates that it is “springing back” from an occurrence but it never was, in fact, down.
The difference that Dines points out is more than one of semantics, though. It goes to the heart of a problem I have seen over and over in organizations—the problem of responsibility. As noted in her article, far too often DR and back up report to a VP of IT. Business Continuity, however, usually reports outside of IT to a risk manager, and issues of security (DDOS, breaches, etc.) report to a CISO or other infosec executive. All three of these responsibilities today are intrinsically tied together. Without close cooperation and coordination, they can’t possibly come together as a coherent formula for success.
The proverbial gun to the head exists to drive this cooperation and coordination though. Again, from Dines article:
According to a joint Forrester and Disaster Recovery Journalsurvey, 82% of BC decision makers and influencers feel that their organization’s risk level is increasing. The top reasons for this include an increasing reliance on technology; greater business complexity; increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters; and increasing reliance on third parties. These perceptions are not misguided: In the past five years, more than 60% of companies invoked BC plans at least once, and more than 25% invoked these plans three or more times.
Backup, DR and BC are not just empty concepts. If you are going through the motions, picking the cheapest and easiest choices for backup and other solutions, don’t be surprised if the day comes that you actually need to rely on these solutions as if your job depends on it, and it may very well.
Another point from the article that bears repeating is don’t ignore cloud solutions to help with your resiliency plans. Backup as a Service (BaaS) can be a cost effective solution. Many R1Soft partners are offering this service already.
One thing for sure though is that backup, disaster recovery and business continuity are important and growing more so each day. Take the time to make sure your plans and solutions are in place, and that they do what you need them to do.
- The Benefits of Continuous Data Protection
- Dark Data: What is it and Why Should I Care?
- Make Server Backup a Selling Point