Don’t assume that you won’t be able to get
approval on your proposed disaster recovery budget from upper
management. Many administrators are guilty of buying into this
myth, and it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Of course, there’s never a guarantee when it
comes to budget approval. Many times, organizations aren’t willing
to spend the extra money a strong DR solution requires.

However, there are some steps you can take to
lower this chance. In my experience, getting executive management
to approve a DR budget comes down to two best practices.

  • Make sure they understand the repercussions
    of failing to approve the budget. In other words, they need to know
    how the lack of a DR plan could impact the bottom line.
  • Make sure they see the DR plan as more than
    an insurance policy. Explain the additional benefits this plan can

Make the case with documentation

The first part is relatively uncomplicated;
create a brief document that details possible failure scenarios,
from the minor to the catastrophe. Focus on the most likely
potential problems that could occur if you don’t implement your
proposed strategy.

In addition, offer an alternative to your
proposed plan. Clearly spell out the differences between the
features you’re removing and the protections you could include
using the full budget.

You can use this documentation to fully justify
your decisions about the DR solution, and it offers nontechnical
management a concrete reason to approve the spending.

This documentation can also serve as ammunition
for overcoming any objections that surface along the way, an often
inevitable occurrence. Keep in mind that having all your ducks in a
row in advance means you can provide immediate answers to those
trying to stop you with tough questions.

Offer an added bonus

In addition, take steps to convince the
powers-that-be that the proposed DR plan isn’t just an insurance
policy, for which the company foots the bill but hopes never to
use. Figure out a way that your DR plan can contribute added value
to the company’s operations.

For example, consider taking advantage of IBM’s
Hierarchical Storage Management systems or other labor- and
system-saving solutions that you can build around–if not actually
into–your DR solution. Incorporating such a system means you can
tell upper management that the DR solution is part of the company’s
everyday data systems, not just something to use in a worst-case
scenario that you hope never occurs. Also consider centralized
backup, data-versioning, and a host of other solutions that rely on
the same baseline components as DR technology.

Plan B

Of course, there’s always the chance that
you’ll lose the battle, and the powers-that-be won’t green-light
your DR budget. What do you do now?

First of all, don’t trash the documentation. In
fact, keep that document safe. And get management’s refusal in

When the worst happens (even if it’s only a
minor data loss), you might need that refusal and the documentation
to save your job. Disasters are inevitable, so covering your back
may be your only option if you hit a brick wall when it comes to

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