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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Explanation, Implications of Redefining Recovery Time Objective

Written by  FRANK LADY, CBCP, CISSP, PMP October 22, 2010

The Editorial Advisory Board’s Glossary of Terms Committee, in cooperation with the Disaster Recovery Institute International, revised the definition of the venerable term “recovery time objective” (RTO) in this fall’s update to the DRJ Glossary. The new definition answers two issues that have plagued the term: when does the recovery time clock start and stop? By addressing these gaps, the definition expands the perspectives and clarifies the responsibilities of stakeholders for this important concept. This article elaborates on the definition and addresses key implications. [Please see the new definition in the glossary at www.drj.com/ tools/tools/glossary-2.html. This definition applies equally to technical or business (work area) recovery situations.] Whether an organization enumerates RTOs in business time or elapsed time, or both, is a matter of choice. Selecting the “type of time” will answer this question in advance: if a disaster occurs at 2 a.m. on Saturday, must the organization recover a four-hour

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