IT Consulting Groups – Organizations recognize that any server or hardware downtime threatens continuity and leads to a waste of organizational funds and resources. Lost data must be input again when systems are restored and salaried employees are still paid during a downtime, even when they are unable to work. Organizations can create a disaster recovery plan to ensure that resources are not wasted. This plan involves preparing for recovery or rebuilding of information technology (IT) configurations following a natural or unnatural disaster, and is actually part of a larger process called business continuity. Business continuity deals with preparing the organization and all of its components for a disaster, while disaster recovery refers specifically to protecting IT components. Since IT components are critical to the success of a business, it is impossible to have complete business continuity without a disaster recovery plan. Organizations that need help creating this plan and putting it into action often turn to IT consulting groups.
How critical are IT components?
A recent survey took a look at companies that had recently experienced a major data loss. Of those companies, 43% never reopened following the data loss and another 29% re-opened but were closed for good within two years of the disaster. Major downtime affects the organization’s success but also has an effect on the global economy, as other businesses and individuals must react to the company’s response to data loss.
What does a disaster recovery plan entail?
This plan focuses on two specific areas: recovery time and recovery point. Companies will set objectives related to the recovery time based on how long the business can function without major IT systems and how long the business has to recover its systems before productivity suffers. The recovery point refers to when data is going to be recovered, with businesses determining how much data will be lost or will need to be re-entered into the system after an outage. The ideal recovery point objective is zero data loss, which means that everything, up to the moment a crisis hit, can be recovered. The most important factor when forming objectives for recovery time and recovery point is the Maximum Tolerable Outage (MTO), or the longest length of time that a business can continue following the initial service interruption.
How do IT consulting groups help create these plans?
These groups provide guidance for the organization by drawing upon their years of experience with establishing, evaluating, and re-building IT configurations. IT consulting groups will perform audits, threat assessments, and operations planning to create a plan that achieves the organization’s disaster recovery objectives. These consultants will make sure that the plan is comprehensive by including preventative measures that reduce the chance of a disaster, detective measures that will identify looming or potential disasters, and corrective measures that help the organization achieve its preferred recovery time and recovery point.