Recovery time objective

A recovery time objective (RTO) is the period of time in which systems, applications and/or business functions must be recovered after an outage.

For example, Customer Service must be recovered after one business day; therefore, Customer Service has an RTO of one day. If this time period is exceeded, the organization could sustain significant financial, regulatory, service or reputation damage.

An important consideration when identifying an RTO is that this time represents an initial, minimally acceptable capability/capacity following the business or technology interruption. A return to 100 percent capability/capacity at the RTO is very rare and costly to ensure.

In reality, it is a much smaller percentage given the potential up-front and maintenance costs necessary to recover 100 percent of the normal day-to-day operational capability.

A recovery time objective is one parameter to measure an organisations efficiency

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