Understanding Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

If there is anything that 2020 has taught us, it’s that anything can happen to disrupt normal business processes. Preparing for this disruption and the inevitable downtime it can cause is exactly why you must develop and consistently test a business continuity plan.

No matter the reason – weather event, equipment failure, cyberattack, human error – your plan will guide the recovery and restoration of your business processes. A central feature of any business continuity plan is the goal you establish for recovery. This recovery is typically framed as two separate (but related) objectives: Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO).


Understanding Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective

What is RTO?

How long can your business afford to be down? While most companies would elect to never experience downtime, it’s something that often happens with little to no warning. The time that it takes for a company to restore critical business processes can vary, depending on factors such as customer service requirements, industry standards, and internal systems. Interruptions in the supply chain, logistics related to your physical location, and employee capabilities can also affect downtime.

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) takes all these differing factors into consideration when establishing a timetable for realistic and attainable recovery.

What is RPO?

How far back must you go for useable data? A week? A day? A month?  Establishing a recovery point for data is critical if you want your RTO to be effective. Again, this will depend upon the nature of your business. Your backup solution will be invaluable as you recover lost data.

Your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) defines how much data you can lose before it impacts your business. It also dictates how far back you must go to retrieve a valid backup.

Establishing RTO and RPO

As part of your business continuity plan, RTO and RPO are incredibly important goals. If and when you must put your disaster recovery plan into action, having realistic RTO and RPO will help your company resume normal operations in a timely manner. This is one reason why regularly testing your business continuity plan is critical. As the world continues to change, testing and adapting your plan will allow you to respond to challenges instead of reacting. The difference between response and reaction can make all the difference in how your business recovers from downtime.

An IT partner can help you to determine practical recovery objectives within your business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Contact Lieberman Technologies for more information!