Business continuity and disaster recovery need to be a core competency, on par with security. But our trending research shows IT organizations are stuck in a rut, failing to take advantage of new services and technologies that could let them do BC/DR better.
How hopelessly are we spinning our wheels? Going back to our January 2008 Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Survey, 74% of 560 respondents had BC/DR plans in place. For 42%, those strategies entailed the expensive and
error-prone tactic of maintaining physical backup servers at secondary locations, and 27% dedicated 11% or more of their IT budgets to the cause.
Good thing server virtualization and public cloud services have made BC/DR easier and more affordable, right?
Not so fast. In our 2011 BC/DR Survey, 27% of 371 respondents with BC/DR or planning to implement it still said they spend double-digit chunks of their IT budgets on BC/DR, with only a modest boost in expected recovery time and recovery point metrics. And of the 492 business IT pros with BC/DR plans we surveyed for our 2010 BC/DR poll, 28% exceeded 10% of their budgets.
That's three polls, four years, and precious little forward motion.
The fact that IT organizations are stuck in this spending ditch probably has something to do with the increasing size of the data sets we're protecting. Still, we expected to see better use of technology advances, to wit: Archiving data to an off-site provider is now as simple as plugging in a network storage appliance and filling out a few Web screens, and recovery is about as easy. Backing up applications isn't quite so straightforward, though pairing virtualized on-premises apps with cloud-based virtual machines lets even small enterprises achieve seamless recovery to world-class facilities, without breaking the bank. We'll discuss backups in more depth later.