Why Your Business Continuity Strategy Should Include RTO & RPO

Why Your Business Continuity Strategy Should Include RTO & RPO

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can never know what’s around the corner. Disruption may occur at any point – be it a flood, drought, cyber attack or virus outbreak. 

While it’s impossible to know how or when a disruption might occur, you can still prepare for worst-case scenarios.

This is what’s known as business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning. These strategies are foundational to long-term success. Without a plan in place, your business will struggle to weather disruption. 

In fact, research indicates that 9 in 10 small companies permanently close if they are slow to reopen after a disaster. The reasons for this vary but, generally speaking, a long-term disaster will impact a company’s reputation and finances, making it challenging to stay afloat. 

What is Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity? 

Disaster recovery and business continuity are inextricably linked. Business continuity is concerned with keeping the business up and running during a disaster, while disaster recovery is concerned with restoring infrastructure to normal after an unforeseen occurrence.

Business Continuity Planning is not Common in Most Organisations 

Despite the necessity of business continuity planning, research indicates that 75% of small businesses have no disaster recovery plan objective in place. A lack of understanding, budget and time are often the reasons for a lack of business continuity planning. 

Many businesses don’t realise the importance of these strategies until it’s too late. This is a risky game to play. As the saying goes: “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

It’s important to realise that a quick response to a disaster never happens by chance. It takes thorough planning, practice and refinement. In fact, 96% of companies with a trusted backup and disaster recovery plan were able to survive ransomware attacks.

So, if you’ve yet to create a business continuity plan, we suggest you start today. If you don’t have in-house IT expertise, or only have one IT administrator, creating a business continuity and disaster recovery plan can seem like an overwhelming task. 

The good news is that we can do the hard work for you. We’ve helped many organisations to create robust disaster recovery plans that reduce business disruption. Get in touch with us to learn more. 

Whether you outsource your disaster recovery planning strategy or not, you’ll notice two acronyms appear again and again as you commence planning: RPO and RTO.

These two critical metrics are an essential part of your strategy. Here’s what each means: 

Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

RTO is measured in hours and minutes. This metric is used to define the time period within which your IT infrastructure must be restored after a disaster before your bottom line is harmed.

In most organisations, RTO is roughly about two hours. However, in digital-native companies, RTO will be just minutes and seconds. 

If you’re not sure what your RTO should be, speak to us. We can calculate your unique RTO for you, so you have a better understanding of your disaster recovery objectives.

Note that while having an RTO is essential, reaching it won’t always be achievable. In the event of a ransomware attack, for example, your company may be offline for half a day or even longer. That’s why you need to ensure your security defences are robust alongside having a business continuity strategy. 

Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

RPO is also measured in hours and minutes. While RTO is considered with your IT Infrastructure, RPO focuses solely on data. It measures the time limit after a disaster before the amount of data loss will impact your bottom line.

This includes data that would have been generated if your systems were running as usual, along with any data stored in your files, systems and servers that would be used for decision-making in the business. 

Your RPO will depend on your business’s reliance on data. Some companies use data much more than others. Again, your managed IT provider can figure out your RPO for you. 

Another thing to consider is the use of real-time, cloud-based backups. That way, if you suffer a system failure, your data won’t be lost for good. It will be stored safely in the cloud for you to access from other devices. 

Conclusion

A sudden IT outage can cost your business hundreds of thousands of pounds in today’s digital world. Don’t leave recovery up to chance. Make sure you have a well thought out strategy in place. 

Start Your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Journey Today!

GKM2 can help your Sydney area business design effective business continuity and disaster recovery plans. We can also manage your IT and security for you. Our managed services plan bundles several helpful solutions into one worry-free package.

Contact us today to learn more. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.