A 5-Level Maturity Model for Disaster Preparedness

Michael Anderson Disaster Recovery

The start of another year always seems like the natural time for both people and businesses to be setting goals and laying out plans. Resolutions, sales targets, strategic objectives – it’s a fresh start.

At 365, we’ve been working with our 365Care+ clients to build plans for asset replacements along with scheduling our quarterly myCIO meetings, where we spend time taking a strategic look at their technology. One focus area in these discussions is always the client’s level of protection against data loss and business disruption in the event of a disaster.

When we look at where companies are in terms of their backups and DR (disaster recovery), a basic (if imperfect) 5-level maturity model emerges:

DRMM(1)

Most of the small and medium-sized business we meet in Winnipeg are somewhere between Level 2 andLevel 3. Moving to Level 4 involves incorporating image-based backups of all servers, and adding automated offsite backups to a secure data centre. For a single server environment, the cost of doing this is marginal (starting at $300/month), while offering a greatly increased level of data protection.

Moving to Level 5 establishes a full standby network which can be deployed in minutes to keep the business operational does come at an increased cost. The deployment of redundant server hardware and virtualization technology can be expensive, but also ensures that businesses which have mission-critical systems and require very high availability (near-zero downtime) are protected against any disruption to their production servers.

We’ve talked previously about balancing Price, Probability, and Impact – and those lessons are true here. Moving up the levels of our maturity model comes at a cost. Determining which costs are ultimately appropriate for your business, and the corresponding level of risk, is essential.

So, where is your business on the disaster preparedness maturity model? More importantly, where do you want to be at the end of 2013? If it involves moving to the next level, let’s start building a plan to get there. Get in touch – we’d love to help.