There are five questions all good board members should know and ask concerning data storage and disaster recovery. Gartner says that 60% of the companies that lose their data are not in business after five years. That should be reason enough to make sure your board members ask the following:
1. What is the company’s RTO? RTO stands for “recover time objective.” It is the time for a business process to be restored after a disruption. Is it minutes, hours, or days?
2. What is the RTO needed by the company? The RTO will dictate the type of service needed. A comprehensive service that covers all the bases is essential.
3. Is there a written plan? A printed copy should be kept off-site in the event a disaster affects the physical location of the company.
4. Who is responsible at the company for making sure the data storage and disaster recovery plan is being followed? Selecting someone to manage to the plan is vital to ensuring things go smoothly when something goes wrong. Assigning a person to be in charge of the plan after a disaster is, “too little, too late.”
5. Is it being outsourced to a reputable firm? Many companies claim they can handle your data storage and disaster recovery needs, but how do you know they are legitimate? Some important questions to be addressed when selecting a vendor include:
- Is the company financially strong?
- How many actual restores has the company successfully completed?
- How many restore tests are done per year?
- Who are the company’s customers and what do the say about the company?
- How does the firm backup the customers’ data and what is the RTO for the firm?
Takeaway: Make data storage and disaster recovery a board agenda item
Every board should have a board member who has been in the data storage and disaster recovery business and is knowledgeable in those areas. Otherwise, the company could be in jeopardy of losing its data if an emergency arises. And more importantly, it could put the company at risk of going out of business. Common mistakes uneducated boards make is the creation and implementation of a data storage and disaster recovery process that doesn’t work. Some of the most common problems include:
- Wrong type of service.
- Wrong plan or no plan.
- A resource that cannot perform.
- No testing of backup at periodic intervals.
Don’t let either the board or the company risk the health of the business by not properly addressing their data storage and disaster recovery needs.
Have you experienced Data Storage or Disaster Recovery situations in your company? What steps do you suggest for ensuring the board covers itself in this area?
P.S. – Do you need an Outside Director, Advisory Board Member, Trusted Advisor, or Interim CEO? Someone who can help you see your business and your goals through “Fresh Eyes.” Contact me and I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there. Sometimes all it takes is someone with a fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture to help find the right solution.
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