Disaster recovery, at least as IT departments understand it, is often an intensely technical affair. While the rest of the business helps – or should help – to define recovery time and recovery point objectives, the organisation of the technological solution is typically left to IT managers and engineers. That includes IT security and recovery from hacking attacks. Research company Gartner has suggested that these security risks will cause major service failure in 60 % of digital businesses by 2020, and foresees the rise of digital risk management and the “Digital Risk Officer”, as a consequence. So what does this mean for disaster recovery?

By 2020, a huge number of businesses will be largely, if not wholly digital. Software applications increasingly drive enterprise activities, the cloud is an attractive business model for manufacturers as well as service providers, and digital business is a powerful trend. That means that Gartner’s forecasts about digital businesses may apply to almost all businesses. The Digital Risk Officer’s (DRO) profile will include business smarts combined with technical understanding, functioning as the link between senior management’s business goals and the IT department’s implementations. In Gartner’s words, there is a need to “move the DRO role out of IT and into the heart of the enterprise ecosystem”.

A similar need exists for disaster recovery. Business has to drive disaster recovery objectives more, and disaster recovery teams have to respond with practical solutions and constructive ideas about how the business could be structured to minimise DR times and data loss. Disaster recovery governance, to coin a phrase, could be considered as important as digital risk management. As the Digital Risk Officer moves more into the corporate spotlight, so should the disaster recovery manager, team or both. As “DRO” has already been taken, the corporate “Disaster Recovery Officer” will need to find another acronym – but surely a little thing like that won’t stop disaster recovery from making an increasingly bigger contribution in terms of business value.