Jim Battenberg, director product marketing at Neverfail will tell attendees at next week'sBusiness Continuity Expo in London that organisations should aim to achieve continuous connectivity to mission-critical applications and the highest possible level of automation in disaster recovery.
Battenberg said a risk management approach to business continuity entailed understanding how quickly an organisation can recover from a disaster, the level of complexity, and how many manual processes were involved.
"The more automated a recovery system is, the lower the exposure to risk and the less dependent the organisation is on the availability of staff with specific skills to restore business systems," he said.
Battenberg said the human element was often overlooked. "It is not always easy to hire IT people with the right expertise to keep systems up and running, particularly for small and medium sized businesses," he said.
Given the myriad of backup and recovery technologies that are available, Battenberg said he would advise organisations to look for those that are extremely flexible and adaptable to the existing environment.
"You want to look for something that allows you to use the hardware that is already in an organisation's IT infrastructure , that will work over any type of network, that does not have any common storage, and that has no single point of failure," he said.
The next step, said Battenberg, would be to go through the organisation's infrastructure and match up business criticality and required uptime to decide what kind of availability is needed for each.
He said smaller businesses in particular should use this business risk approach to ensure availability only for mission critical systems to ensure business continuity and keep costs to a minimum.
"Back-up and restore may be enough for some applications. You need to look at each of the applications and the implications of it being down, and then find the business continuity technology that best fits those needs," Battenberg said.