As a proactive business owner, you know that implementing a solid business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan is essential for your business. After all, why would anyone in your position ever put their business at risk of downtime or data loss when prevention is so easy? While some business owners fail to give BCDR the proper attention it deserves, we’re not worried about you. But if anyone asks, here are four critical reasons that you, the owner, 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 using our RTO calculator. 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. As the owner, you don’t want yesterday’s backup technology. Backup and business continuity are not one in the same. Your business needs both.
3. You Care Because Disasters Take Many Forms. Not every disaster is broadcast on news and weather channels. Most IT downtime is a result of common, everyday actions like accidental (or intentional) data deletion, damage to computer hardware, and poor security habits. For example, a recent OWI Labs survey found that 81% of respondents occasionally or regularly log into public Wi-Fi, in spite of security risks. A ransomware attack or virus can halt operations just as easily as a tornado or a power surge. These “lowercase d” disasters are typically a result of human error, which is unpreventable. Having technology in place that allows your business to continue operations following these man-made disasters is equally, if not more, important than protecting against a hurricane that may or may not strike your business.
4. You care because business continuity Is everyone’s concern. Ensuring access to applications and data following a disaster is 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, but 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. You know a disaster (natural or otherwise) is coming at some point and in the company you lead, everyone has a stake in BCDR.
Conclusion. Business continuity and disaster recovery is a company-wide responsibility and failure to protect your business from human error, hardware failure and/or natural disasters can be detrimental to your business. Once you’ve implemented a BCDR solid plan, you will sleep much more soundly at night knowing you’re fully prepared for any disaster that might come your way.