Business continuity planning plays a crucial role in most organizations. Downtime can occur due to several factors: Internet connectivity issues, power failures, terrorist attacks. Significant events such as the Y2K threat, the 9/11 terrorist attack, SARS, the Iraq war, and many others across the world have had a tremendous business impact. Risks have also arisen from natural calamities like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. These events have posed enormous challenges for businesses all over the world, and that’s how the idea of ‘disaster recovery’ or ‘resilience’ came into existence.
The increased use of information technology, company network integration and supply chain globalization have helped reduce the risk of exposure for companies to a catastrophic ‘single point of failure’ disaster.
Challenges and the changing landscape
Businesses are facing more challenges to maintain an always-on environment even as interdependencies, new technology, and security risks are growing. Threats are everywhere – from virtual and physical data breaches to outages from power loss, equipment failure, and extreme weather events.
Traditional approaches to resiliency are changing to meet the requirements of the current scenario. In a business environment where data increases exponentially and analytics are tied directly to consumer satisfaction, businesses cannot afford to have downtime. A holistic approach to resiliency is no longer an option.
A way forward
A good resiliency plan typically has the following components:
- Strategy, governance, planning, and communications: Strategy, organization, and processes to identify and mitigate areas of potential risk.
- High availability: On-demand access supporting continuous availability of IT infrastructure components.
- Continuous operations and backup-as-a-service: Non-disruptive backups and system maintenance coupled with continuous availability of applications and data.
- Disaster recovery (DR): Protection against unplanned or unscheduled outages through predictable recovery and restoration
- Facilities, data center operations and management: Relocate, plan, design, build, manage effective, lean, and resilient modular data centers.
- Resiliency communications: Incident, event, and emergency communications management with efficient mobile communications, tracking, and analysis.
Using Hybrid Clouds for better resilience
Many companies are now using Hybrid Clouds to position themselves better to deliver customer experiences that meet changing business requirements. Hybrid Clouds make enterprises fast and flexible, value-driven, and cost-effective. However, while the Hybrid Cloud can offer agility and flexibility to the enterprise, it can also increase the complexity of the environment, particularly to manage backup and resiliency across all providers. They can become difficult to integrate, monitor, manage, secure, and protect given the wide range of sources where workloads can originate.
Delivering a consistent and predictable disaster recovery (DR) experience
Resiliency orchestration is necessary to deliver a consistent and predictable DR experience. This modern management solution aligns Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives. It’s built on industry standards and can rapidly be deployed and automated for any event.
Automated/Orchestrated DR has following benefits:
- Helps reduce risk and increase visibility
- Helps simplify and accelerate the DR process
- Helps reduce deployment time, recovery time, and operating costs
- Helps simplify DR testing exercises
- Helps increase the availability of business applications
How does orchestration help when tied to Crisis or Incidence Management?
Integration of crisis and incident response workflows with IT DR orchestration on mobile devices enables real-time status tracking on activities and process compliance of all responders. It:
- Enables quicker response to an incident/event to reduce or mitigate impact to your customers
- Automates message escalation and distribution without manual processes, avoids log jams
- Continues to run the business during major disruptions
- Maintains regulatory compliance
While most companies are aware of the need for business continuity and have some sort of disaster recovery plan in place, it’s always a good idea to rethink ways to ensure continuous business operations. Staying in pace with trends and getting the right plan in place at the right time will help achieve that goal.