Date: 05/02/2013

Does your organisation have a robust backup and disaster recovery plan?

By David Flood, senior IT solutions consultant with MJ Flood Technology

Our recent survey into backup and disaster recovery practices covered by the Irish Times, has yielded some frightening statistics, which we should all be concerned about.

  • 40% of Irish organisations have no documented IT DR plan
  • 44% have no IT budget allocated to back-up or DR technologies
  • One fifth have confirmed a serious incident of data loss in the last 12 months
  • One in four do not back-up business data held at branch or remote sites
  • One quarter would require more than four business days to reinstate their systems following a disaster
  • These are quite startling, I think you’d agree but I can also see why businesses can leave themselves so open to the potential of a disaster.

I believe that advances in technology are to some degree, confusing a lot of small and mid-sized businesses – businesses that have one or two people providing support for the entire company are getting bamboozled with so many technologies, vendors, solutions and applications in the marketplace.

MJ Flood Technology is a case in point; we cover everything from tape units, remote support of back-up systems, back-up software and management technologies, cloud back-up services, cloud monitoring of back-ups, data hosting and this doesn’t even include any of our DR services.

Some organisations feel it’s best to get their service provider in for a day to assess their infrastructure and processes, document the findings and (hopefully) this will be enough. After all, they’ve only incurred the cost of an engineer to complete this.

But realistically, the approach needs to be much more holistic than that. There needs to be more communication between the IT department and its support provider to ensure the message is driven home to senior management of the actual financial, reputational and commercial risks for businesses if they fail to implement proper governance around data protection.

A holistic plan needs to be put in place with the service provider to educate management that no matter what they think about IT, data is the life blood of any business and should be afforded adequate investment in order to protect it. Only through effective communication can this be framed to address the regulatory requirements of the individual organisation as there is no “one size fits all” solution.

The knock-on effect from such an approach, if done the correct way will yield a number of benefits:

  • Addressing the regulatory requirements of your company
  • Through proper planning, downtime will be dramatically reduced due to regular testing of the service throughout the year
  • Business reputation will be improved through proper planning and execution of the plan.

On the positive side, our survey also reveals that over half those who responded confirmed that they foresee some form of IT spend on back-up in the coming year.

On the negative side, most companies haven’t quantified the cost of non-availability of key systems and applications or the actual cost of complete data loss. It’s a sobering thought but there are very cost-effective methods of data backup and recovery, which will afford even the smallest organisation a robust level of protection for their mission-critical data.

Think about it for a moment. What financial, commercial and reputational cost do you put upon recovering your data in minutes or hours instead of days or weeks?

Data loss can be catastrophic for a company but by working with best-of-breed partners such as MJ Flood Technology, you can go a long way to protecting the most precious asset in your business.


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