Development of a methodology and an expert system for disaster recovery
The number of organisations that rely on computerised systems to perform their day-today operations and to help them in making decisions has grown rapidly over the last few years and continues to expand. On the other hand, the destruction or loss of these systems can be a nightmare and, in many cases, may leed to an end of providing services or trading for the organisation. Thus, the growing dependence on computer systems and the fear of being out of business have increased management awareness and understanding of the importance of plans to prevent or recover from a computer failure. Although senior management and IT directors have begun to appreciate the need for Disaster Recovery Plans (DRPs), they often raise common questions, such as. How long the organisation can tolerate the failure of its computer systems? Are we spending too much or too little on a recovery strategy? What type of recovery strategy is most appropriate for our IT centre? To look more closely at the effects of disasters on organisations and the importance of adopting DRPs, the researcher carried out a case study involving III organisations in Kuwait to examine their DRPs before and after the Iraqi Invasion in 1990 and to identify major problems facing IT managers on disaster recovery issues The literature review and the case study show that there is a lack of a comprehensive methodology and of a computerised intelligent system to guide organisations in selecting the most appropriate recovery strategy for their computer centres. Therefore, this research has developed a methodology and delivered an expert system that would assist IT directors to obtain answers to the above-mentioned questions and perform fast recovery from any type of computer disaster. The methodology consists of five phases that provide a step-by-step approach to ensure that the entire recovery strategy selection process is covered. The phases are: Threats Assessment, Business Impact Assessment, Recovery Strategy Analysis, Cost Analysis, and Recommendations.