Business Continuity Myths: Don’t Catch Yourself Adhering to the Wrong Rules

The MHA Consulting Team

By Richard Long, Senior Advisory Consultant, Disaster Recovery, MHA Consulting

Bigfoot, alien visits to earth, “I will win the lottery,” and other “myths” are popular topics for books and television. We might wish they were true, but we know they are, at best, highly unlikely. It is the same in business continuity and disaster recovery. Which of these do you think, or wish, were true?

  • Recovery Time Objectives are not reality.
  • Customers and vendors will understand if I have a DR event.
  • I don’t need DR, my applications run in the Cloud.
  • I don’t really need formal DR; we will figure it out.

The reality is, the “old” way of looking at disaster recovery requires reassessment. Our requirements have changed in the last 5-10 years—whether due to lack of manual processes and technology dependence or to the fact that new technologies/strategies are now commonplace (such as cloud-based computing)—but the need for formal plans, preparation, and technology remains critical to ensuring the continuity capability of your organization. (Did you catch the change from disaster recovery to continuity?)

Let’s look at those items again.

  • Recovery Time Objectives are not reality.
    • When was the last time you performed a BIA to validate requirements? Is that statement based on IT knowledge or on an actual understanding of objective risk? You still need to know the requirements to communicate to management and set appropriate expectations.
  • Customers and vendors will understand if I have a DR event.
    • No, they won’t. Most continuity events are not those that people “understand” like natural disasters. They cause a loss of confidence (data breaches, self-inflicted outages, etc.).
  • I don’t need DR, my applications run in the Cloud.
    • What is your Cloud provider’s continuity solution? Does it meet your requirements?
  • I don’t really need formal DR; we will figure it out.
    • This may be true, but if you don’t have the necessary technology and capability, even with smart people who are able to “figure it out,” the required data may not be available for them to work with.

Take a few minutes to review the “myths” in your program, and identify which may be preventing your organization from being as prepared as necessary.