An earlier blog talked about the building blocks for aligning and integrating IT with the business. As IT becomes increasingly intertwined with the core operations of the company it’s time to take a fresh look at traditional middle market approaches to IT related Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR).
Before: Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery was primarily used to protect against calamitous events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods, or even terrorist attacks and war.
Now: Add cyber-attacks to the list. We have ransomware appropriately named ‘Wannacry?’! With every business function tied in some way to computer systems, even an hour of downtime caused by a poorly designed or maintained system can mean a catastrophic loss of revenue and customers. Rethink business continuity and disaster recovery,
Before: IT began Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery design by assessing the business impact of key systems and assessing the risk to these systems. Invest heavily in shoring up the resiliency of the key systems.
Now: Start by identifying critical business functions and their associated workflows and data flows from a user/customer perspective. Use these to identify key systems and zero in on just what needs to be done to keep critical functionality operational. You might be surprised to discover that your architecture has put ancillary systems in the critical path. On the other hand you may find you were planning to spend too much on shoring up backend systems in an Order Flow when all you needed was to be able to continue to receive and save client orders during an outage.
Before: A common belief was that IT disaster recovery plans are costly elaborate proposals that don’t justify the return on investment (ROI). How often do such events occur? If and when they do, we will have bigger problems than trying to bring up an accounting system or our website.
Now: Today’s information or digital technology drives much more than accounting or billing systems. IT Disaster Recovery plans designed for every eventuality can spiral out of control. A proper Business Impact and Risk Assessment cuts outs unnecessary spend. Newer technologies such as the cloud further reduces cost. A Total Cost of Ownership analysis will convincingly gauge the ROI.
Before: All we really need is a backup of our essential data.
Now: A strong data backup and protection strategy will always be essential. You also need to understand your critical business flows from your customers’ perspective and design system resiliency accordingly.
Before: We would only invoke a Disaster Recovery plan for something just this side of Armageddon, because after the disaster is over, the cost to restart operations from the original site would be overwhelming.
Now: A good systems design and ongoing DR drills address this concern and help you flush out all possible procedural and design weaknesses. Cloud and DevOps technologies bring more sophisticated Disaster Recovery techniques within the reach of middle market companies.
With a constantly evolving business and technology landscape, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, are never a once and done affair. Remember to keep a business functionality focus rather than a systems-centric one. In future blogs, we will take a closer look at ways in which we have worked with different companies and government agencies to cost effectively fortify the business resilience of their technology.
Group50’s Digital Technology Practice helps our customers tackle business challenges with people, process, and technology solutions that design the approach, define the rules, select the partners and program manage implementations. We would love to do the same for you. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact the head of Digital Technology Practice, Shirish Néné at email@example.com or call him at 703-201-3936
About the author: Raju Chellaton heads Global Operations for Group50’s Digital Technology Practice. Raju and the Group50 team are a cadre of veteran executives with a track record melding people, process, and technology into game changing strategies and tactical advances across a wide range of industries, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. Our experience is reflected in a field-tested methodology and framework for establishing Digital Technology in its natural role of a strategic corporate asset. Our perspective from the trenches to the boardroom has instilled in us a respect for, and ability to fit into a variety of corporate cultures. #group50, #digitaltechnology #IT #Businesscontinuity #disasterrecovery #ITstrategy
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