How’s Your User Experience for Your Disaster Recovery?

It may sound strange to talk about “touchy-feely” stuff like user experience in the context of IT disaster recovery. After all, the priority is on getting systems up and running again within recovery time and recovery point objectives, rather than sitting around in focus groups discussing feelings and opinions.

The only UX that many IT teams know about is the one in Linux, HP-UX and others, where UX is shorthand for Unix rather than for user experience. Yet good user experiences could make a significant difference to recovering productivity and profitability after an outage.

Take the IT team, to start with. No matter how techy or geeky members of your team are, there will always be an application, a system or a process that has them rolling their eyes at the thought of having to use it.

It might be a commercial product or an in-house development. But if it’s a critical part of your recovery process while being difficult or laborious to use, it will inevitably depress your recovery performance.

Sure, you can train your staff to be more efficient in using the product or process, but training evaporates. Six months from now, when disaster strikes, and nobody remembers what to do, it will be like training never happened.

Similar considerations apply for users, too. Ideally, they will never need to do recovery.

Automation and a diligent IT team will take care of it all, or so the theory goes. But users sometimes need to recover their own professional data or configurations.

Even when the IT department says everything’s back, users may spend the rest of their day trying to become operational again.

So, when you select your IT solutions and create your processes, whether specifically for disaster recovery or for general business use, think about the user experience.

Ask people (outside disaster situations, of course) what they think of the IT resources they work with. Note their comments and see what you can do to make use easier and results quicker.

You’ll probably see improvements in everyday work activities, as well as in disaster recovery.

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