Forrester_logo_2009.jpgAccording to new research by Forrester, IT managers within the enterprise have their eye on disaster recovery and business continuity. From power outages to other weather-related disruptions, the 2,803 respondents indicated that they are primarily focused on helping to keep systems up and running despite whatever conditions may arise.

Preparing for the Worst

While preparing for unforeseen disasters is never popular, it is necessary. Recent natural disasters and security threats have caused companies to identify risks, measure their probability and quantify their impact. Subsequently, more money has been allocated for such endeavors.

The report, Business Continuity And Disaster Recovery Are Top IT Priorities For 2010 And 2011, indicated that 32 percent of enterprises and 36 percent of SMBs plan to increase spending on business continuity by at least five percent. Only 11 percent of enterprises and eight percent of SMBs plan to decrease their spending.

Recovery is Only Part of the Solution

Just as increased litigation forced many companies to embrace in-house e-Discovery solutions, the risk of losing millions and billions of dollars because of down time and insufficient recovery solutions has increased the popularity of BC/DR programs. Similarly, more government or industry regulations and standards have pressured companies to address business continuity in some capacity.

However, designating disaster recovery a priority and actually implementing a strategy are two different things. The bigger the organization and the more information that it houses, the more complicated BC/DR can become. According to Robert Brower, vice president of global customer support and America services for CommVault Systems in an article for CTOEdge, companies today,

have greater choices for disaster recovery, but ensuring the highest level of data protection requires multiple options.

Brower offers 10 steps for improving DR planning and preparedness. Not surprisingly, many of them involve surveying current conditions and infrastructure to determine what is needed and how it can be effectively managed. Once strategies are developed and put into place, documenting the process is just as important. Yet, disaster recovery is only as good as how they test. Like an emergency plan, practice makes perfect. Brower recommends that companies,

Test the disaster recovery plan on a regular basis, taking into consideration that both personnel and system assets change over time and will be compromised in the event of a disaster.

Companies are encouraged to take advantage of the increased attention on disaster recovery, but are also urged to maintain momentum so as to sustain and prepare itself for when it fades from our purview.