IT disaster preparation and recovery guide for enterprise CIOs

In this guide to IT disaster preparation and recovery, learn how CIOs are protecting their organization from security breaches and equipment failures.

A fully formed IT disaster preparation and recovery plan addresses high-level organizational strategy around security protocols and business continuity measures intended to safeguard against the consequences of serious data breaches, equipment failures and natural disasters. Enterprises that fail to institute processes and procedures to ensure that essential functions can continue during and after a disaster are sitting ducks when the inevitable disruption hits.

In this CIO Briefing, learn how IT disaster preparation plays a critical role in allowing organizations to maintain business operations in the event of major mishaps. The news, tips, videos, definitions and quiz in this guide are targeted at enterprise CIOs considering all areas of disaster recovery management, and include real-life examples of how cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) has abetted organizations confronted with catastrophes.

This enterprise guide to IT disaster preparation and business continuity is part of SearchCIO.com's CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.

Table of contents:

CIOs increasingly pursuing cloud disaster preparation

Jessica Carroll, managing director of IT and digital media at the United States Golf Association in Far Hills, N.J., was something of a pioneer in her embrace of cloud disaster recovery and business continuity.

In 2008, when cloud computing was still a blip on the technology horizon, Carroll was faced with the challenge of bringing her '90s-era IT shop into the 21st century. She knew that tape rotation and colocation weren't going to be the wave of the future. Higher expectations for disaster recovery -- quick, seamless, gap-free -- led her to consider and ultimately adopt a cloud disaster recovery solution from IBM. "It enabled us to port our data to an off-site location without adding strain to the administration of managing the backups, without adding huge amounts of infrastructure and without unreasonable costs," she said.

With the cloud-based data backup solution in place, the United States Golf Association (USGA) set up a secondary site at an IBM facility in Sterling Forest, N.Y., with servers and personnel prepared to recreate the organization's IT environment in the case of an emergency.

Read the full news story for more on cloud disaster preparation and recovery.

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IT disaster preparation and recovery: Video highlights

Watch these videos to familiarize yourself with the latest management strategies around disaster preparation, recovery and backup.

Disaster recovery management: Virtualization matters

The more an enterprise virtualizes its data center, the less need it might have for a traditional disaster recovery (DR) plan because it can swap out and easily move around resources in a virtualized environment. In this Q&A, DR expert Paul Kirvanlooks at whether virtualization helps or hurts disaster recovery management, at the DR pros and cons of data center consolidation, and DR precautions that often are overlooked.

Is virtualization making disaster recovery management easier, or is it adding another layer of complexity?

Kirvan: The major virtualization vendors made DR a big part of their products and services play. In a perfect virtualized environment, you might not need a data center at all. You could lease one from someone else, and as long as you have browsers on your laptops, you can run your business.

Learn more in the full Q&A about IT disaster preparation and recovery management strategies.

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A glossary guide to disaster preparation and recovery

The resources below will acquaint you with some of the need-to-know technologies and strategies in disaster recovery.

DR and BC in the cloud: A CIO's take

"A few weeks ago, someone asked me what worried me the most about being a CIO in today's environment. I thought about the question for a few moments. I pondered the depth, breadth and complexity of my project portfolio. I mentally reviewed my staffing challenges. I considered my own shortcomings. But those all paled in comparison to the one thing that I worry about the most -- not being fast enough," Niel Nickolaisen said.

"Technologies change business rules. Technologies drive innovation. And we, in our IT leadership roles, must handle these changes while also delivering excellence in managing everything else in our technology products and services stacks. We have to be really good at mobile, social, analytics, collaboration, consumerization, et cetera, while also making sure that we don't let ourselves get bad at network, CRM, ERP, desktop management, service level management, et cetera. And we somehow have to do all of this faster than ever, lest we slow down the organization by becoming bottlenecks."

See how Nickolaisen's need for speed is driving his DR and BC strategies.

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Business continuity and disaster recovery plan quiz for CIOs

Is your organization prepared for inevitable disruptions, ranging from hackers to power outages to data leakages? It's crucial to establish a business continuity and disaster recovery plan that details how to proceed in the event of an interruption. Take our quiz and get cracking on updating and testing your IT disaster preparation and recovery plan.

Take the DR/BC quiz