Is our DR vocabulary a barrier to Disaster Recovery Preparedness?

by Patrick Redknap on March 31, 2014

This is another guest post from PHD Virtual CMO Steve Kahan. It’s also available on DRBenchmark,org

Just got back from Orlando where I helped kick off the largest BC/DR conference in the world yesterday, Spring World 2014.

I previewed my talk in Orlando Sunday with an online webinar last week. If you were able to participate in last Wednesday’s webinar, (which is archived on the Disaster Recovery Journal’s website) entitled The State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness, you may recall this excellent question posed by one of the attendees:

“How do we convince upper management to fund disaster recovery?”

Getting the executive team on your side is a foundational step toward developing and implementing a sound DR plan. Like most things in life, I think communications is key — both what you say and how you say it.

AUTHORITY: Your words will carry more weight if reinforced by an outside, authoritative source. In Wednesday’s webinar, I presented facts and figures from the 2014 Annual Report on the State of Disaster Recovery. The report is a compilation of online survey responses from representatives of more than 2,000 organizations worldwide. Download your free copy of the annual report and you’ll see, it offers an unvarnished, real-world snapshot that provides hard evidence you can use to make your case for investing in an effective DR plan.

The annual report also offers benchmarks that characterize responding organizations that are best prepared for intentional and accidental threats to their IT systems. Take full advantage of this free resource: download your free copy of the annual report today.

DOCUMENT YOUR STARTING POINT. Take the online DR Benchmark survey that feeds into the 2014 Annual Report on the State of Disaster Recovery —and encourage your colleagues in other organizations to do the same.  The more companies we hear from, the better the results will be. Reserve time on your now: it only takes about 15 minutes and the survey tool will give you an immediate grade that tells you (and your executive team) where you stand compared to other survey respondents.  There is a follow up email that will show you in detail how you scored compared to others on each question.

For organizations with VMware environments, the free RTA calculator at will scan your system and document your current recovery time. This nifty tool is easy to load and run, and gives you hard evidence to help convince management.  And, you can download a free trial of ReliableDR to see how you can affordably test your failover and failback capabilities as often as you like.

NAMING CONVENTIONS: As I shared in the webinar, the words “disaster recovery” may themselves be a barrier, as the phrase may sound alarmist to some ears — perhaps the IT equivalent of crying wolf.

Some audiences are more responsive when the conversation is focused on the crucial role that IT plays in ensuring “business continuity” or the operational costs triggered by an “extended outage.” Here’s one more suggestion: think of disaster preparedness as “an investment in brand security,” a way to protect your company’s reputation.

TAP A COLLEAGUE: If you’re unsure how to best “translate” IT concerns into terms that upper management will relate to, recruit someone from your marketing team to help you put “corner office” language to your concerns for maintaining mission critical business services.

Share your progress with us. We’re here to help you and others succeed, and you’ll see more about how we can do this in the coming weeks.

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