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Bridge the Gap between Service Management & Disaster Recovery

Treating DR as separate from normal IT operations leaves organizations vulnerable to common causes of extended service interruptions.

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  • Yogi Shulz, President, Corvelle Consulting
  • Terry Rennaker, Vice President, Skanska USA Building
  • Larry Liss, Chief Technology Officer, Blank Rome LLP
  • Paul Beaudry, Assistant Vice-President of Technical Services, Richardson International
  • Michael Gordon, Group IT Projects Manager, PMP (NZ) LIMITED
  • Plus five anonymous contributors
  • If a tornado destroys your data center, that’s an obvious DR scenario. However, the vast majority of extended service interruptions are caused by relatively minor events, such as hardware issues, isolated power or network outages, etc., that typically fall initially under service management procedures.
  • IT leaders can fall victim to the “IT hero” and the familiar refrain of “I just need five more minutes,” or maintenance crews promising that it should only take a couple hours to restore power or network connectivity, and wait too long to initiate DR procedures.
  • On the other hand, declaring a disaster is rarely a no-cost scenario, and should not be done lightly. For example, vendors often apply a surcharge to activate a hot site. At the very least, it’s a disruption to previously scheduled work as both IT and business leaders convene to manage the DR. IT leaders need guidance on when to escalate to DR procedures.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Incorporating DR scenarios into service management processes leads to better decisions about how to respond to less obvious DR scenarios, when to escalate those incidents, and whether to initiate recovery procedures rather than continue troubleshooting.
  • Both service management and DR procedures require a strong understanding of the relative importance of the various systems used by the business. Incident response and recovery timelines for a mission critical system need to be shorter than for a relatively unimportant system.

Impact and Result

  • Understand how service management processes can help you meet your Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs).
  • Perform a business impact analysis to establish system criticality and recovery objectives.
  • Extend service management processes to account for disaster scenarios, and to reflect different levels of system criticality as identified by the business impact analysis.

Research & Tools

1. Bridge the gap between service management and disaster recovery

Incorporate DR scenarios and timelines into service management processes.

2. Identify system criticality and set RPO and RTO requirements

Perform a business impact analysis.

3. Account for disaster scenarios in your severity definitions and response times

Ensure service management processes mesh with DR timeline requirements.

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Search Code: 54543
Published: May 17, 2012
Last Revised: June 19, 2012

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