A flexible and robust disaster recovery (DR) plan that comprehensively considers people, process, and technology systems is more essential than ever. Reliance on innovative applications and their IT service dependencies has increased exponentially as organizations digitally transform and drive disruption in their market segment. Failure is not an option because these workloads, data, and infrastructure are at the core of gaining a competitive advantage and maintaining a sound reputation with consumers. As dependence on these digital assets continues to skyrocket, so do the potential pitfalls that threaten the bedrock of the business.
Catastrophes come in all shapes and sizes, and no company is exempt from their paralyzing consequences. The year 2020 produced real-time case studies that IT professionals will be learning from for years to come. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic showed how business operations can be crippled when subject matter experts are prevented from efficiently carrying out their daily responsibilities. Also in 2020, natural disasters such as raging wildfires and devastating hurricanes exposed weaknesses in business continuity plans that resulted in crippling interruption to IT services.
Clearly, DR planning must be prioritized, but its successful implementation is often challenging. Costs can quickly spiral out of control due to the requirement for redundant hardware and associated maintenance and support contracts. Designing, maintaining, and exercising DR scenarios can be time-consuming and can quickly become a drain on already-taxed IT staff. Further, some applications and their core IT services rely on aging and inflexible infrastructure that requires manual intervention during the recovery process. Finally, distance requirements, data rate-of-change, recovery time and point objectives, and other variables increase complexity.