We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Recovery Time Objective?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The recovery time objective (RTO) is the amount of time required to restore business systems after an interruption, as determined by previous experience, system parameters, and estimates made by people involved in the maintenance and repair. Businesses consider the recovery time objective to be the maximum amount of time the system can reasonably be down in an emergency. In actuality, when systems go down, it is not uncommon for them to exceed this limit, and the circumstances of individual situations are used as learning experiences to avoid repeating problems in the future.

This figure can be based on a number of factors including known limitations of the system, average repair times, and other issues that may be involved in the process of restoring a business to full operational status. The goal is to reach the recovery point objective, a restoration point determined by looking at where the business was before a problem developed. Setting clear guidelines for system restoration is important for quickly and actively responding to crises, in addition to gauging the efficiency and effectiveness of the framework used to recover the system.

Businesses lose money when their systems are not operating. Most have a small buffer built in to provide continuity while their systems are not fully operational, such as manually recording credit card information for sales so they can stay open during a power outage. If this is exceeded because the recovery time objective is not met, the business can start taking losses and a ripple effect may be created.

Service providers work with businesses to provide an accurate recovery time objective and develop action plans for ensuring that recovery goes quickly and smoothly. Electric utilities, computer services companies, and similar entities are involved in recovery from problems ranging from power outages caused by poor weather conditions to damage to computer systems as a result of a hacking. Action plans present a number of alternatives for contingencies, so businesses have plans in place for recovery before a problem develops.

After a business has recovered from the problem, a meeting may be held to discuss how the situation was handled and to identify areas where there is room for improvement. If the recovery time objective was not met during the process, businesses want to know why so they can see if it is necessary to adjust their recovery plans or make other changes. This can be especially important when businesses must provide compensation for system failures, as companies want to avoid unnecessary payouts to customers.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.