What's in a Number When it Comes to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery?

By Lawrence Bunka, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Business Continuity


For data availability, as for golf, the lower the score the better.  In the case of business continuity, the ultimate number is zero, as in 0 RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and 0 RTO (Recovery Time Objective).  Getting to these numbers isn't easy.  It requires an investment in people, processes and technology.


Well, here's a new number to consider: 143.


More specifically, 143%. As in Return on Investment (or “ROI”).  That's what Forrester Consulting recently found as the three year ROI based on a composite organization in a commissioned Total Economic Impact™ study they conducted, interviewing seven customers using NetApp MetroCluster.  This was backed up by another number: 11. More specifically, 11 months. As in, the payback period for this composite organization based on the same group of customers.[1] 


Forrester’s methodology examined four areas:


  • Cost
  • Benefits to the organization
  • Flexibility; and
  • Risk


This approach is the foundation of Forrester’s Total Economic Impact (TEI) methodology, which looks beyond a cost only focus to also consider the enabling value of technology in it capacity to positively affect a business.


Why does this matter?  IT investments need to justify themselves in two ways. First, they need to provide the features and performance expected of them.  The best solutions address more than IT problems, they also provide value to the business.  Second, they need to deliver tangible returns in the form of revenue, cost savings, or both.


The Forrester study provides one perspective, but we know there are more.  What has your experience been with making the case for business continuity? Are there benefits beyond those that Forrester examined? Do some business continuity solutions deliver more ”bang for the buck” than others? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

[1] The Total Economic Impact Of NetApp MetroCluster™, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of NetApp, April 2012