FACT: on average, over 40% of companies without a Disaster Recovery Plan go out of business after a major data loss.
This is a high percentage, but fortunately, it is a problem that can be avoided with the correct preparation: specifically, a plan of action or Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) aimed at minimising downtime should a catastrophe occur.
Sadly, the true cost of data loss rarely gets reported. This is why so many companies are complacent to protect a key element of their business: their data.
You would insure your home, your cars, your tools of business and the people who work for you: so why not your data?
It doesn’t take a large scale event like a fire, cyclone or flood for a business to lose important information. Simply dropping a laptop to the floor, or a power surge that results in burning out a storage device can be detrimental to the everyday running of your business. If your crucial data isn’t backed up, well … a small situation can turn into a catastrophe.
Realistically, the result of an IT disaster is usually referred to in monetary terms: How much will it cost to fix the problem quickly? The bigger picture is rarely taken in consideration – more specifically – the long term repercussions of lost time, productivity, money and credibility. These are all factors that can impact a business’ bottom line.
How would your clients react if you couldn’t perform a service? The excuse, “I’m sorry we can’t help you because we’ve lost everything” really won’t cut it EVEN with the most empathetic of clients. As the saying goes, your competitors will be laughing all the way to the bank.
God forbid if the cause of your data loss was a result of cybercriminals hacking into your system. Explaining to your clients why their personal information is now free-floating through the worldwide web: that’s just a PR disaster waiting to happen.
So please, take a moment to contemplate what it would actually mean to your business if disaster struck.
Also, take into consideration some interesting figures from a study conducted by the Strategic Research Corporation. They provided the top five leading causes of business continuity and disaster recovery incidents as being:
- Hardware Failures (servers, switches, disk drives, etc) 44%.
- Human Error (mistakes in configurations, wrong commands issued, etc) 32%
- Software Errors (operating systems, driver incompatibility, etc) 14%
- Viruses and Security Breach (unprotected systems are always at risk) 7%
- Natural Disasters 3%
The fact is your business needs to continue should an unforeseeable situation like data loss occur. A Disaster Recovery Plan developed and implemented by the Nortec IT experts equals minimum cost and impact on your day-to-day operations.
To give an example: Nortec IT was employed by a major Sydney infrastructure company who had failed to implement a trial run of their DRP. For a week, a lot of time and energy was used by their personnel to test this DRP. Albeit they had the right idea to adopt a plan of action, the fault lay in its execution – and this is when they decided to call for help. Nortec was able to assist with the finite management of their plan.
The result: Nortec managed to recover the whole system in under 36 hours. The difference was the amount of pre-planning undertaken to ensure a successful Disaster Recovery.
To put it in perspective, it only takes four steps to develop a Disaster Recovery Plan for your business:
1) Take a potential risk inventory. Make a list of every potential cause of data loss and the solutions to each. Your list should include losses that won’t affect the business very much, and those that would shut the business down temporarily or permanently. Nortec IT can assist you with creating the potential risk inventory by identifying possibilities that you are not likely to think of but need to plan for all the same. Nortec will also be able to discuss preventative solutions to guard your business against each type of potential data loss.
2) Rate each of your potential data loss situations. How likely is it for each of the items on your risk inventory to occur? Rating them in order of importance and likeliness to occur will help you determine where to focus your disaster recovery plan efforts.
3) Develop your disaster recovery plan. Go through each of your potential risks and their solutions, and determine how long it would take you to recover from the loss of data for each risk. Could your business be offline for 24 hours? A week? Depending on the nature of your business, being offline for even just 24 hours could result in your losing customers to your competition. Look at ways to reduce the length of time it would take you to recover from each type of data loss risk.
4) Put your disaster recovery plan to the test. Once you’ve created your plan of action for recovering lost data, you should test your solutions. A disaster recovery plan is just a plan until it can be tested and proven.
Remember … the key to a successful Disaster Recovery Plan is planning. Take a proactive approach to protect your business against data loss today!