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Limor Wainstein
Limor Wainstein

Disaster Recovery and the Role of the Disaster Recovery Analyst

Disaster recovery entails processes that ensure the swift re-establishment of an enterprise’s important data, IT systems, and applications in the event of an unexpected outage caused by either a man-made or natural disaster.

The importance of disaster recovery is clear when assessing the costs to enterprises of system outages—according to a 2015 IHS study of mid- to large-size enterprises, such outages cost companies $700 billion a year across North America. The costs run so high when you consider lost revenue, loss of employee productivity, and the time taken to get systems back up and running.

It’s evident from the IHS study that recovering from system outages as quickly as possible is vital for minimizing the costs of any disaster. Below you’ll find out what a disaster recovery plan is, how disaster recovery is relevant to a business analyst, and you’ll also find out about the role of the disaster recovery analyst.

Disaster Recovery Plan

A disaster recovery plan covers the steps, policies, and tools required for an enterprise to get its technology infrastructure functioning again rapidly following a disaster. Such a plan is often developed alongside an organization’s business continuity plan.

The disaster recovery plan typically includes important recovery strategies for on-premise systems, such as using uninterruptible power supplies, backing up data to secondary locations, and even cloud-based recovery options.

AWS disaster recovery is a particularly pertinent option that emerged in recent years with the development of cloud computing, in particular those services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Many enterprises now use a hybrid cloud solution that combines on-premise physical systems with cloud services such as AWS (EC2, Redshift, Aurora, etc.) to handle IT workloads more efficiently.

An enterprise can now back up its mission-critical apps and data which are handled by AWS services by using AWS disaster recovery solutions. After all, cloud computers are also at risk from man-made or natural disasters, so it makes sense to incorporate AWS disaster recovery as part of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that covers all angles and types of system.

Who Is Responsible for Disaster Recovery?

Because disaster recovery is an important financial concern, a senior employee in the finance department should help with the development of any DR plan, such as the chief financial officer. In fact, the disaster recovery plan is of such critical importance that the central responsibility for the plan must reside on top management.

However, other employees are also responsible for helping out with drawing up an adequate plan. A committee with representatives from functional areas of the company should oversee the implementation of a DR plan.

The business analyst plays an important role in disaster recovery as the link between an enterprise’s IT and its distinct business units. More precisely, the business analyst helps to conduct a business impact analysis which analyses mission-critical business functions and quantifies the effects that a business disruption might have on those functions.

Disaster Recovery Analyst

A disaster recovery analyst is a specialist employee who helps create technical disaster recovery plans, including details on the processes for re-establishing servers, apps, databases, and operating systems in the event of a disruption (see this job description). The disaster recovery analyst tests and updates existing plans all the time to ensure they operate seamlessly and return systems to a functioning state with minimal downtime after a disaster.

The disaster recovery analyst is a relatively new role that reflects the importance of disaster recovery and the high costs that can occur when a proper plan is not in place. The traditional approach is to distribute a disaster recovery analyst’s responsibilities among several types of employee, but the argument for hiring a dedicated analyst is that he/she can better pinpoint the strategies needed for an appropriate DR plan.

Business analyst and disaster recovery analysts

A business analyst is typically seen as a professional who helps to facilitate change within an organization. As such, business analysts help to improve business processes by documenting how such processes function and helping to improve them. In this sense, a business analyst’s job could overlap with that of a disaster recovery analyst, particularly in terms of assessing the current processes and procedures used for disaster recovery.  

Closing Thoughts

Rapid recovery from man-made or natural disasters is extremely important for modern enterprises. Many companies now employ hybrid cloud solutions for managing their application workloads, which broadens the range of systems that need to be considered when protecting against a system outage. Cloud-based recovery solutions such as AWS disaster recovery can help protect data and workloads stored on cloud computers.

A relatively new role has emerged in the form of a disaster recovery analyst, who specializes in helping to create disaster recovery plans and constantly refines those plans through thorough testing.

This entry was published on Feb 14, 2018 / Limor Wainstein. Posted in Roles and Responsibilities. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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