5 Reasons Why You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan For Your Business

5 Reasons Why You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan For Your Business

IT failure is an if, not when question

Do you need a disaster recovery plan for your business? The answer is yes. This article will run down the 5 main reason the answer to that question is simple.  

Disaster recovery (DR) can take a low priority. Finding the dedicated funds to implement an appropriate disaster recovery plan can be a daunting task, especially given that it has little return on investment regarding direct income or cost savings.

Only 30% of businesses report having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place. 15% of businesses don’t feel they need a disaster recovery plan at all. This neglect seems to cut across organisational sizes and structures — a barely better 35% of SMEs report having a fully operational set of disaster recovery procedures.

Overlooking this vital area of business and brand protection can spell doom for any company unlucky enough to be caught unaware. Only 10% of businesses with no disaster recovery plan survive a major failure. 60% of small businesses that lose data close within 6 months.

Investing in a disaster recovery solution can save your entire business in the event of a disaster. Like cybersecurity, it is a necessary requirement of operating in a digital age. The costs should be calculated into the savings and efficiencies gained from digital transformation. Doing so opens up opportunities based on the security and safety of your data.

This article is a look at the 5 main threats that make disaster recovery a must for any business.

The 5 Reasons You Need A Disaster Recovery Plan For Your Business

Technical failures, cybercrime, human error, terrorism, natural disasters.

  1. Cybercrime

Malware infections can corrupt or destroy files, some will even purposefully attempt to wipe mainframes. You need to take cybersecurity seriously, but be prepared for a breach and total system failure.

2017 was a dangerous year. Global ransomware attacks brought giants such as FedEx, Nissan, Merck, and the NHS temporarily to their knees. Ransomware attacks are expected to rise by nearly 12% this year. However, 96% of companies with reliable disaster recovery protocols fully recover from an attack.

  1. Natural Disasters

People don’t always think about Nature when they consider threats to their IT infrastructure — but, they should. There has been a steady increase in economic losses from natural disasters since the 1970s. 2017 saw 16 events in the US alone that cost more than $1 billion.

Those damages encompassed more than data loss. However, securing your business from natural disasters is an important thing to consider. Think about your location, its proximity to floodplains, fault lines and other local dangers. Take this into account when constructing your disaster recovery plan. Backing-up to a data centre across the street won’t help you in the event of a flood.

  1. Terrorism

Similarly to natural disasters, your location may expose you to physical threats that could damage your ability to safely store data. Terrorism has cost the global economy more than $20 billion every year for the last 10 years — hitting a high of $104 billion in 2014*.

Depending on your business, this could mean preparing for an attack itself. More likely, however, this means thinking about power disruptions and infrastructure damage similar to a natural disaster.

  1. Hardware Failure

Hardware faults were responsible for 45% of unplanned downtime in 2017. Power outages accounted for another 35%. That means that 80% of failures were caused by things as mundane as network issues, faulty drivers or routine infrastructure failures.

It is important to remain on top of hardware refurbishments. However, these issues encompass a number of problems over which no business has control. Nothing can replace the ability to sidestep a failure with the near-instant Restore Time Objective (RTO) capabilities offered by a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

  1. Human Error

Beyond every other consideration, it is prudent to have an IT recovery plan simply because people make mistakes. Failure to appropriately save a document, or saving over important information can cause small to critical problems for a business. Although common, these kinds of mistakes are nearly impossible to prevent — at least while humans are still involved in work.

A disaster recovery plan that involves regular backups will create a series of restore points that can, if accessed correctly, enable teams to operate more effectively in the event of a human error — in addition to securing your data and business applications in the event of a larger disaster.  

  • Think about your location and the specific nature of natural and man-made disasters to which you are exposed
  • Cybercrime and ransomware are a growing threat that can be mitigated by robust disaster recovery measures
  • Take into account human error and the benefits of continuous backup
  • Consider the risks of mundane power failures and network hiccups

The Costs of Failure: What Lacking a Disaster Recovery Plan Can Mean for Your Business

In 2016, companies spent a minimum of $926 per minute of unplanned downtime*. That rose to a potential $17,244 per minute and a total average cost of $740,357 for data centre failures.

In addition to direct costs and loss of revenue, 25% of businesses that suffered a failure reported staff disruptions that impacted business because of the need to refocus employee time to deal with the disaster.

Most importantly, it is impossible to quantify the damage to your brand that can occur in the event of data loss or significant downtime. Customers rarely forgive such transgressions. Even failure to provide adequate online customer service in a moment of need can destroy a valued relationship because of the always-on expectations of digital commerce.

You need to do everything you can to reduce downtime and prevent outages. Organisations lose anything from nothing to millions. 90% of business with no disaster recovery plan close after a major failure. 60% of small businesses that lose data will close within 6 months*.

  • Downtime is expensive
  • Loss of data and loss of productivity add to those costs
  • It is impossible to quantify the damage to your brand that can occur due to an unmitigated IT failure
  • Only 10% of businesses with no disaster recovery plan survive a major failure

Summary: Don’t gamble with your brand — neglecting a disaster recovery plan for your business isn’t worth the risk

A disaster recovery plan is not just about protecting data, processes and applications. It is about retaining customer confidence, preventing losses in productivity and missed business opportunities. It is about protecting your brand.

Customers have come to expect digital perfection. IT failure can create reputational damage that is greater than the costs of ‘technical’ recovery. Customer acquisition can be expensive — re-acquisition is next to impossible. Think about how you would react if a business you used lost personal data or failed to deliver needed services at a critical moment.  

Neglecting a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is not a risk worth taking to avoid the limited costs of being prepared. Ultimately, the ability to operate online from remote servers has enabled firms to have full and immediate redundancy of all their processes, data and applications. Failure to take advantage of this opportunity is nearly as negligent as a failure to maintain a web-presence or utilise the flows of digital data that make using such a backup system a necessity.

It is not worth gambling your brand, business and reputation to save a little bit of money. The risks are too high.

Sources:

* The Global Economic Impact Of Terrorism [Infographic]
* Business Continuity Statistics For IT Pros – StorageCraft
* 58 Percent of Small Businesses Not Prepared for Data Loss (INFOGRAPHIC)

Rob Townsend

Rob is a co-founder at Nexstor and has dedicated his career to helping a range of organisations from SME to Enterprise to get ahead of the game when it comes to their compute, storage and data needs.

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