The Recovery Gap – Part 1: Online Presence and Prudent Preparation Posted on September 4, 2014 by Tim Burke Online presence has never been more important to your business – but behind it lurks immense technical complexity. The sort of complexity that produces things like software, network and power failures, and human error. So, of course, it’s prudent to prepare ways to recover from such failures, mistakes and vagaries of nature, which is why so many organizations – a majority, according to a recent study by the DRP Council – deploy some sort of secondary recovery site. Though, less than 10% use cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Disappearing through the cracks Even so, a substantial recovery gap remains. The DRP study found that: 60% thought their Disaster Recovery (DR) planning and testing wasn’t useful during their worst event 43% could not recover data backups and 35% never fully recovered data after an outage 36% have lost one or more critical apps, VMs, or data files for hours at a time, almost 20% have lost one or more critical apps for days, and 25% have lost most or all of an entire data center for hours, sometimes days. 4 lagging indicators These costly effects (think dollars and reputation) signal, I believe, the struggle to keep pace with quickly-accelerating IT complexities. The DRP study found several causes: Didn’t expect that. Recovery plans don’t anticipate the type of event that actually occurs; this happened to nearly 36% of respondents. What documentation? Although many businesses (you know who you are) must meet recovery mandates, including compliance reporting, 60% lacked a fully documented DR plan and 43% found compliance reporting too difficult, too manual, and too expensive. Only a mere 15% can automatically generate reports on their recovery activities. What test? It’s tough to find the internal resources and skills needed to manage DR implementation and testing. 32% only test their plans once or twice a year, and 23% don’t do tests at all. Fail. Then there’s the little matter of passing the DR test, which upwards of 65% could not do. Only 24% re-tested after a failure. Test documentation would help, certainly, yet more than half didn’t bother to document their test results. Is your business stuck in the recovery gap? The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. In my next post, I’ll lay out recovery best practices that can save you money, reputation, and untold hassle.