Business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) solutions are many and varied. Which one is right for your company? Your Board of Directors is demanding a complete BC/DR program, your CEO wants it done yesterday, service providers are promoting their services and calling on you all hours of the day, your different lines of business only care about their IT needs, the media is full of news about the latest and greatest cloud recovery technologies … and the list goes on. So how do you even begin to move forward when a hundred voices are clamoring for your attention, your money, and your resources?
Let’s start by cutting out the noise. Forget the hype, the pressure, the latest and greatest. Here are the four secrets you need to pick the right BC/DR solution for your company.
Secret #1: Understand the business requirements: these drive everything else.
I always encourage clients to take a “top down” approach to understanding BC/DR business requirements. Here’s why. Suppose you have an IT guy sitting in the bowels of the company. He has responsibility for a particular application cluster. If you call a meeting of your IT staff and say, “What are our business requirements for availability and DR? What do we need to focus on?” this guy is going to say, “My application cluster is critical – it should be one of our priorities.” After all, it’s his baby and to him, that cluster is mission critical.
But is this guy’s application actually mission critical? Maybe, maybe not. To avoid the disconnect that can occur between the IT group and those who run the business at the highest level, you have to start at the top and work your way down. Gather the executives from the different divisions or lines of business and ask, “What must be recovered immediately if an outage or disaster strikes? What are the absolutes that we cannot function without?” This approach is going to get an entirely different set of answers than the IT team, working alone, would come up with.