You know that implementing a solid business continuity and disaster recovery plan, also referred to as BCDR, is essential for your business.
Downtime comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a catastrophic storm, a data center outage, ransomware, internet outage or even a careless mistake. No one is totally safe, and it isn’t a question of if, but instead when it will strike. Here are four critical reasons that you should care about business continuity and disaster recovery:
1. You care because downtime is expensive:
If your employees or customers lose access to business-critical applications and data, there will be a direct impact on productivity and revenue. While this sounds obvious, many organizations do not consider the actual costs of downtime. To better understand this cost, consider the following example: let’s say your business has 100 employees, average hourly revenue is $1,500 and the backup data set amounts to 2 TB. Given these parameters, a full restore from a local backup would take over 8 hours. The associated downtime cost would amount to $34,000 in lost revenue. Some modern BCDR products offer the ability to run applications from backup instances of virtual servers. This allows users to continue operations while primary application servers are restored. Choosing a BCDR solution aimed at reducing downtime makes good business sense.
2. You care because backup alone is not enough:
You’d be hard-pressed to find a business today that doesn’t conduct some form of data backup. But, what happens if a flood wipes out your primary and backup servers? Sending a copy of data offsite for disaster recovery should also be considered essential. Historically, this meant sending tapes to a secondary location or tape vault. As previously mentioned, modern BCDR products can run applications from backup instances of virtual servers, and some can extend this capability to the cloud. This approach is frequently called cloud DR or disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). The ability to run applications in the cloud while onsite infrastructure is restored is widely considered to be a game changer for disaster recovery. You don’t want yesterday’s backup technology. Backup and business continuity are not one in the same. Your business needs both. Simply storing data, such as tapes offsite doesn’t eliminate the problem of downtime. It can take several days, or even weeks to turn that data into a usable format, such as a new server. A real BCDR plan means your data needs to be accessible at a moment’s notice.
3. You care because of the risk of disaster:
Most IT downtime is a result of common, everyday actions like accidental data deletion, damage to computer hardware and poor security habits. For example, a recent CompTIA study found that 94% of respondents routinely log into public wifi, in spite of security risks. And, 69% of this group accesses work-related data over public wifi. A ransomware attack or virus can stop operations just as easily as a power surge. These disasters are typically a result of human error, which is unpreventable.
4. You care because business continuity is everyone’s concern:
Data is essential for all types of organizations today, so ensuring access to applications and data following a disaster is critical. But it’s just one piece of the BCDR puzzle. Evaluating your business’ ability to restore IT operations can be a good starting point for company-wide business continuity efforts. Good BCDR planning should look at the business as a whole, and the goal should be to develop business resilience. In fact, many BCDR planning efforts start by conducting a business impact analysis or risk assessment— these studies can reveal weaknesses in your business’ ability to continue operations that go far beyond IT.
After all, failure to protect your business from human error, hardware failure and/or natural disasters can be negative and impact every part of your organization. Now by implementing a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery solid plan, I bet you sleep much more soundly at night knowing you’re fully prepared for any potential disaster that might come your way.