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Making Executives a Part of Disaster Recovery Solutions

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

Disaster recovery is more than just an IT problem, according to Mary Shacklett of TechRepublic. Every department in the company should have a hand in system recovery and in practicing and preparing for outages and hiccups. All plans must emphasize company-wide continuity.

C-level executives should bridge the gap between departments and ensure that all sectors are on the same page, Shacklett writes. Disaster recovery (DR) should ultimately be the responsibility of executives, not IT.

Shacklett recommends that C-level executives make extra dollars available to IT to ensure that recovery failover is effective and that policies change and procedures are updated when systems crash. They must also keep track of mission-critical IT and vendors that will be necessary to get their businesses through the recovery process. Allowing executives to shoulder most of the responsibility may be the best thing for IT staff at midsize firms.


IT May Gain Control by Handing Over the Controls

An article like this, which urges executives to take the reins, has important implications for IT staff at midsize firms. It should trigger a dialogue between IT staff and stakeholders about spending money on recovery and how major losses of data can have serious negative impacts on businesses' finances and reputations.

More and more, businesses are becoming dependent on big data to make critical business decisions. A loss of this information would be incalculable to a company, and many stakeholders may not realize how easily a data loss could occur.

The following statistics may give executives something to think about: Nearly three-fourths of IT staff members who participated in a study commissioned by Cisco found that unauthorized programs used by employees were the likely reason for at least half of firms' data losses. With most companies adopting BYOD programs, there is a good chance that a midsize firm could be a target for malware or another attack.


The Midsize Approach

With all of this in mind, stakeholders may take disaster recovery more seriously and shell out additional funds and resources for it if they are the ones leading the charge. IT managers, especially those at midsize firms that are scraping by with bare-bones staffs, may find it prudent to advise executives on their critical roles in the discovery process but then leave the duties of ensuring continuity among the departments to them.

Executives will likely gain a better understanding of DR and feel more invested in it because they are the ones taking control. Midsize IT professionals will also benefit because they will get what they need to ensure that recovery moves ahead smoothly following an event: They'll either be shouldering less of the heavy lifting or get the extra help and money they need.

Either way, disaster recovery is vital to protecting big data collected through analytics, and it is possibly best dealt with in a company-wide approach led by executives.


This article was written by Melissa Busch.

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