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Recent blog posts

Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

After tsunamis, protests, hurricanes and wildfires, it would be expected that very few management teams would be unaware of their company’s vulnerability to disruptions like civil unrest and extreme weather.

Unfortunately a survey released by the APQC (American Productivity & Quality Center) last year revealed that may not be the case and past their Tier 1 suppliers, they have very little visibility. It’s a matter of transparency (or lack thereof). Let’s take a closer look at the data and figure out why and how ISO 22301 can increase transparency and help increase awareness leading to better decision making and preparedness. (APQC, 2013)

The overwhelming majority of respondents reported that their organization’s leaders were concerned to extremely concerned about:

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Two months to the day before the start of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season and right on schedule a variety of seasonal outlooks have come out in the last few weeks.  I’m not a meteorologist but I worked in the global corporate meteorology industry for 22 years so I know how much effort, research and dedication goes into the production of a well thought-out seasonal forecast.  And the how much is a LOT.

The primary components of a seasonal forecast are to review the current environmental setup factors and then carefully compare them with similarly behaved seasons over the last 80 to 100 years in order to come up with what are called analog years.  Occasionally a sexy new predictive model comes out and from what I observed the seasonal outlooks are sometimes tweaked or otherwise weighted one way or another depending on how much faith is put into the newer models.  The shorter, less geeky version of this is that loads of passionate devotion go into the outlooks, not to mention lots and lots of discussion and sharing of experience.  There is screaming.  People throw things.

And sometimes, more often than not, the outlooks are fairly accurate.  The skill of meteorologists and the accuracy of the science have increased dramatically in the last 20 years, even in the last 5 years.  But nature is nature and those of us in hurricane country remember last year, which was predicted to be the hairiest, scariest hurricane season in decades.  Do you remember any storm names from last year?  Neither do I.  And I’m a weather geek.

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Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

 

 

Mudslide

 

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By Eric Thompson, solutions architect for Rentsys Recovery Services, Inc. Originally posted on Rentsys Recovery Services' blog

Today, almost every newspaper or tech magazine you pick up is either singing the praises of the cloud or pointing out its shortcomings. The challenge is transitioning from talking about cloud to actually implementing a cloud-based solution so you can judge its usefulness for yourself. 

If you're ready to take the cloud plunge, follow these three steps to be best prepared. 

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Tagged in: Cloud

Originally posted on Rentsys Recovery Services' blog

Earlier this year, the Disaster Recovery Preparedness (DRP) Council released the results of an annual benchmark survey that graded businesses worldwide on their state of DR preparedness using a scale of A (best) to F (worst). The report revealed some disturbing news: 3 in 4 companies are at risk due to incomplete or nonexistent disaster recovery plans. Fortunately, the DRP Council offered this nugget of encouragement: We're starting to identify DR best practices. Specifically, the survey results showed that businesses that scored an A or B had three things in common:

  • They built detailed DR plans.
  • They defined specific DR metrics for RTOs and RPOs.
  • They tested DR plans more frequently. 

The report is very clear that these goals are key to being a good student of DR preparedness. Now let's take a look at what solutions you can use to get a passing grade on your business's DR plan. 

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Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

In a little over a week we'll be getting together in Orlando, Florida for our 50th conference! This is pretty amazing and it's hard to believe how quickly the time has gone. It seems that in no time at all, we went from planning Spring World to now double-checking our to do lists and making some last minute arrangements. 

We're super excited about this conference. Not only is it our 50th conference but we have some excellent speakers and industry experts all coming together to help all of us learn about the latest in the industry.

If you've registered - we're looking forward to seeing you on March 30. Don't forget about our Sunday evening welcome reception. This is a chance to mingle with your  peers and to meet new folks. After your first full-day on Monday, be sure to attend the hospitality night hosted by XMatters - enjoy some refreshments and unwind in a relaxing atmosphere.

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Tagged in: DRJ Spring World

By Michael Bratton, Avalution Consulting
Originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Business Continuity Blog

So you’ve just completed your business impact analysis (BIA) – identifying recovery time objectives for a variety of processes and functions throughout your organization and captured the names of applications and systems that business owners state they just can’t live without. In addition, the IT department heard you were conducting a BIA and mentioned on a few different occasions that they were excited to see what the final results would be to help with their planning. You’ve taken all the applications and their reported recovery time and recovery point objectives and crammed them into a very lengthy spreadsheet, and then the inevitable happens… you realize that everything you have collected is a huge mess.

But, don’t worry, this is a common issue! This perspective will explore the process of taking that seemingly disorganized pile of data and organizing it into something that can be utilized by IT disaster recovery planners to help meet continuity goals. So, let’s get started!

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Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

Counting the cost is the theme for BC Awareness Week this year. How do you do it?

Do you think there are benefits, or is BC just a cost centre?

Do you have an opinion on the subject?

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Originally posted on Rentsys Recovery Services' blog

Every year the William Mills Agency releases a Bankers As Buyers report containing essential information and statistics about the technology trends that are popular in the U.S. financial services industry.

In this year's report, we found three key takeaways that your firm should keep in mind as you update your 2014 disaster recovery (DR) plan.

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Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

We've been writing a lot lately about DRJ Spring World and it's easy to lose track of the details about our leading business continuity conference. So in this week's post, we're highlighting some of the DRJ Spring World features that we're pretty excited about.

Be sure to click on the links to get the full details on DRJ Spring World - we look forward to seeing you in a little over a month!

Registration Discount

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Tagged in: DRJ Spring World

Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

By Andy Osborne, Acumen.  
Originally posted on Oz's Business Continuity Blog.

I love skiing. It’s right up there on my list of top ten favourite things (I’ll keep the other nine and their relative positions to myself for now, on the grounds that divulging them may incriminate me).

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Are you looking to maximize your travel and learning budget? Are you trying to find extra ways to get some extra knowledge and advice from industry experts? Then look no further than the pre- and post-conference courses offered at DRJ Spring World 2014.

A couple of weeks ago we highlighted the BCI post-conference courses and in this post we'll take a closer look at our other additional learning opportunities. (Hint: you may want to send your colleagues and boss the link to this blog post so they can read about the great learning opportunities available...)

Pre-Conference Courses

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Tagged in: DRJ Spring World

I was disappointed that there was only a passing mention to cybersecurity at the recent State of the Union Address. As a matter of fact if you took a bite of your popcorn at the wrong time you missed it.

 I realize the president's address was focused mainly on the economy, but the biggest threat to our economy today is the lack of preparedness to identify, mitigate, detect and ward off a major cybersecurity attack.

 

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Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

Whether you’re new to business continuity, a seasoned expert or someone looking to increase their knowledge - you can definitely benefit from the DRJ Spring World pre- and post-conference courses.

 

These courses are taught by industry experts from the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and are designed to offer additional learning opportunities that build on what you will learn or have learned at DRJ Spring World

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In data recovery, why you need a plan “B” and to think of employees as family

Throughout the past week, I’ve spent a lot of time reading Disaster Recovery Journal. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is an entire culture centralized on recovering data in the case of emergency. There seems to be one very important thing missing in this culture…you.

Let’s say you are responsible for setting up the recovery plan for your company, and it’s your job to plan for the worse. You have a STORServer Backup Appliance protecting your environment, so you’re confident your data is safe and stored offsite in a vault.

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Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

Another big storm is bearing down on the East Coast  --  so I thought I would post a link to FEMA's winter weather tips.
The building blocks of the tips for winter weather apply to those of us in other parts of the country as well.
If you keep a stash of extra batteries on hand, you're also likely to have created a family emergency plan and even perhaps to have 5-7 days of emergency food, medicine and other supplies on hand.    If you haven't found the time to take care of those items yet, pick a day this next week and get after it!  Once you've established the basics, it's a simple matter to check out the supplies once a year, replace anything that might have expired, and perhaps add a few more items to your stash labeled for emergencies.
Meanwhile, our thoughts go out to those on the East Coast, who've already gone through this once this month.

Hits: 770

By Greg Marbais, Avalution Consulting
Originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog

Many organizations struggle to define the best method to meet business expectations regarding information technology (IT) recovery. ISO 27031 provides guidance to business continuity and IT disaster recovery professionals on how to plan for IT continuity and recovery as part of a more comprehensive business continuity management system (BCMS). The standard helps IT personnel identify the requirements for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and implement strategies to reduce the risk of disruption, as well as recognize, respond to and recover from a disruption to ICT.

ISO 27031 introduces a management systems approach to address ICT in support of a broader business continuity management system, as described in ISO 22301. ISO 27031 describes a management system for ICT readiness for business continuity (IRBC). An IRBC is a management system focused on IT disaster recovery. IRBC uses the same Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model as the business continuity management system described in ISO 22301. The objective of IRBC is to implement strategies that will reduce the risk of disruption to ICT services as well as respond to and recover from a disruption. Business continuity and IT professionals will find the use of the PDCA model very familiar but with necessary changes to support recoverability of ICT based on business requirements and expectations.

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Our son was home from The University at Albany for two weeks in December to celebrate the holidays with us.


 Now he's back in school experiencing this kind of weather.

Albany, N.Y. snow shoveler    

And it's bitterly cold, with the wind expected to come up as well.  For him and for others on the East Coast, I thought I would repeat some old advice on how to handle cold weather.

1.  Stay indoors if possible.

2.  If you do go out, expect delays with all forms of transportation -- assuming there is transportation available.

3.  Dress with extra layers if you are outdoors -- here's where a winter hat and gloves, along with your boots come in quite handy.

4.  Double check your emergency kit to be sure it has everything you need if the power goes out. 

5.  Keep all your electronic devices charged.

6. Set alerts to local emergency management officials so you have the most up to date information on conditions and when the weather will change. You'll also be able to find locations of warming centers or emergency shelters if you need them.

7.  Especially if kids are out of school, ensure that you've a supply of board games and books, for children as well as adults.

8.  Finally, "the best way out is always through."  I believe it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said that many years ago, probably in the midst of a howling snowstorm, so cheer up.  The end will soon be in sight, and you'll be even more determined to be prepared the next time Mother Nature has her way with you.

Hits: 919

Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

Yes, it's true, we're in the third week of January... As usual time is racing along and this means that it won't be long until the best in the industry are meeting at DRJ Spring World in Orlando, Florida. Maybe you've been thinking about attending DRJ Spring World or you just need to give your boss an extra nudge to get the approval - well, this post should help (actually there a lot of posts about DRJ Spring World that will help!).

In this week's post we take a closer look at the break-out tracks offered on Monday and Tuesday and at the Solutions Track offered on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday Solutions Track

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Tagged in: DRJ Spring World

Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

Happy New Year! We're only a few days into 2014 but so far it has been a very interesting year - particularly when it comes to the weather.... If you're in Canada or on the East Coast, you're likely bundled up under layers of blankets and are driving rather cautiously. The winter weather hits us every year, and it seems like each year we're all a bit shocked with the volume of snow and the freezer-like temperatures...

So what does this cold weather talk have to do with DRJ Spring World? Well, perhaps spending some time planning what you'll be doing from March 30-April 2 will make the shovelling a bit easier to take... Forget about the cold weather and think about how nice it will be to be networking with colleagues in the warm weather of Orlando, Florida...

Exactly, DRJ Spring World 2014 is your break from the cold and the routine. Our 50th conference is a chance for you to meet with industry experts, to learn from the best in the DR/BC field and to develop your professional expertise.

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Tagged in: DRJ Spring World