Continuity Central – The IT DR program: a crucial, but not well understood, aspect of disaster recovery

This is the shortest, most complete treatment I’ve ever seen of what it takes to be successful with IT Disaster Recovery. Worth the read.

While the hardware and software costs for disaster recovery are well understood many organizations do not fully realize that, in order to be assured of successfully executing the plan in the event of an outage or disaster, a comprehensive IT DR program must first be in place. An organization can have all the right IT DR hardware and software, but without a properly managed program, its efforts will fail.

Even the organizations that do have this understanding often underestimate the complexities involved in creating an IT DR program and the associated costs.

The DR program consists of the people, processes and tools necessary to implement the IT DR solution and manage its lifecycle. Because this implementation process requires considerable expertise and experience, organizations must carefully consider the costs of developing their in-house skill sets as well as those of purchasing, implementing, and maintaining their own hardware and software in house. They should then compare this expertise and the hardware and software costs to those they could access by going to a third-party managed recovery provider that specializes in providing IT disaster recovery services.

Only by understanding what goes into a full IT DR program and the complete total cost of ownership (TCO) of both an in-house versus a ‘selectively outsourced’ solution can organizations make the right choice.

The DR program consists of five processes: application mapping; developing disaster recovery procedures; test planning and execution; post-test analysis; and recovery lifecycle management. The discussion below will address what each step involves.

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