Disaster Recovery – what is it, and why does it matter?
Every few years a frightening statistic pops up claiming that a large number of businesses are under-prepared for a serious system outage – and 80% go bust within six months of experiencing such an event.
This terrifying statistic has been attributed to the White House, FEMA, AXA and Gartner (among many others), but like the best stories on the Internet, this one also appears to be fake – but for one crucial point:
A large number of businesses really are underprepared for a disaster.
What is a disaster recovery plan?
A disaster recovery plan is the only way to prepare your business for a serious, sustained outage. By considering the factors that threaten your operations, and how they may be mitigated, you can protect yourself against the worst.
An effective plan needs to consider threats from three sources:
- Threats to your offices, like flooding, fire or terrorist attack.
- Technology failure, like broadband outages, server crashes and data loss.
- Threats posed by human factors, like hackers or general negligence by your own employees.
You will need to draw up a list of these threats, and how you would respond to them. If the broadband connection goes down for instance, you could fail over to a mobile broadband connection until normal service is restored.
Why does the disaster recovery plan matter?
Although 80% of businesses do not fail after experiencing a serious system outage, 100% do face significant financial fall-out. Having your systems go offline will result in:
- Lost productivity.
- Data loss that affects future operations.
- Reduced capacity to serve customers, affecting their opinion of your brand and potential sales in future.
- Increased wage bill as you will still be paying your staff even if they can't work.
- Potential fines and legal fall-out if sensitive information is lost, breaching the Data Protection Act.
As you can see, there are significant, ongoing costs to consider. Costs that could push an underprepared business into bankruptcy.
Mitigating problems in advance
A documented disaster recovery plan is essential to the future health of your business, and you should put one together as soon as possible. You should also seriously consider how to reduce the number of weak points in your current IT set-up.
Every workstation or application you use has the potential to fail, taking important data with it when it does. Fortunately, there are ways to offset these risks. Adopting G Suite for storing email and documents allows you move that task away from your in-house server, placing the burden onto Google’s enterprise-grade, fail-safe data centres for instance.
Even if your server is hit by a direct nuclear strike, your corporate data is still safe, secure and available using any internet-connected device. And it is these sorts of enhancements that will help your business survive a serious system outage. This is why Kimbley IT recommends businesses use Cloud services to work, manage and store their businesses data. All of our clients are prepared in case disaster strikes. Are you?