Disaster Plans Tied to Business Success

It wasn't our intention to time our cover story on disaster recovery with a major earthquake in Seattle, but it happened

It wasnt our intention to time our cover story on disaster recovery with a major earthquake in Seattle, but it happened. Disaster recovery too often falls into the same category as security considerations in building an IT infrastructure. While everyone agrees that recovery and security are important, they dont move from the bottom of the list to the top until disaster strikes or security is breached. Although the original planning for the disaster recovery feature started with Californias power crisis, we were graphically reminded of how quickly disaster can strike as we watched television footage of swaying buildings and crumpled roadways in Seattle.

As Henry Baltazar writes in his contribution to the recovery feature, "Disaster recovery services are more than just insurance policies companies begrudgingly buy for their own peace of mind; eWeek Labs believes these services should be seen as the cornerstone of business preservation" .

The drive to build business IT infrastructures around open, Internet-standard architectures continues unabated. The upside to the drive is that well-executed plans have a big bottom-line benefit.

The downside to the digital-driven business is that without recovery and backup solutions, the digital business dies when the backhoe severs your connection to the outside world.

Fortunately, there are many more recovery solutions available today. If your disaster recovery process consists of a big box of unmarked tape, you really need to look at the alternatives.

A good place to start is with the five-point checklist provided by eWeeks Corporate Partners advisory board.

Disaster recovery, security and associated topics are part of the trend to talk about the digital business as a systemwide architecture rather than point solutions plugged in at random. The systemwide look at a company makes a great deal of sense.

Taking the big-picture view of the company was the top theme last week in Atlanta, where IBM Chairman Lou Gerstner used one of his rare public appearances to hammer home the theme of integration, infrastructure and open standards as the new IBM mantra.

"The question the customer is asking is, How do you become a fully integrated e-business?" Gerstner said.

Since you, the reader, are the customer, that question is one you should address.

The answer, as you know, is not easy. It is a lot easier to throw together a Web site and call yourself an e-business than to go through the methodology of integrating all those disparate parts upon which a business is built.

It is those companies that build plans down to the details of what to do when disaster strikes that will succeed over the coming years.