Due to the high downtime costs, any organization should have a disaster recovery plan that ensures business continuity. In this context, understanding the differences between RTO and RPO will help determine how long it will take to restore operations when a severe downtime situation occurs.
The recovery time objective (RTO) represents the maximum downtime that any organization can tolerate and defines how long it will take to an organization to restore its critical technology systems online. In general, a lower RTO means that an organization needs to make further preparation and redundancies in its critical IT systems.
The recovery point objective (RPO) measures the time the organization can afford to operate without losing data, as well as the time it can afford to operate with old data, as any information produced between the backup moment and the downtime event could be lost. Lower RPO is common among organizations depending on having up-to-date information.
While RTO addresses how IT systems influence operations, as well as the consequences of downtime in interrelated areas, the RPO approach focuses only on data. Thus, it determines whether the organization should design backup systems with data available online or whether it can probably afford to tolerate near-current data management.