When You Can’t Afford The True Cost of an IT Disaster A Good Disaster Recovery Plan is Really a Small Price to Pay

We know they shouldn’t happen but we’re reminded every day on the TV, radio, social media, and through our friends, family and colleagues that disasters most certainly do, and frequently.

IT disasters don’t even have to be caused by physical ones (although they often are) but the results can be devastating to a business, its staff and stakeholders, and customers. In a time when most businesses have realised that a just simple regular backup is nowhere near enough, isn’t it time you thought seriously about what you will actually do if and when one of the many I.T. storms hit?

What Do We Mean By Disaster?

The are many different events that cause significant IT downtime. The disaster could be:

  • That the downtime is for a period of time that creates significant costs and halts productivity, and disrupts business continuity.

  • That there is not a clear and workable plan in place to allow any kind of recovery in time.

  • More regular events such as hardware failures, security breaches and routine power outages can be just as disastrous as the fire, flood and physical less common calamities if your business is not prepared.

Time Can Be The Killer

One of the crucial factors in recovering from an IT disaster is the amount of time that it takes to recover your systems. Time is money under normal circumstances, but time can be a lot more money and a lot more besides in the case of IT disasters. Even if you think you have backed things up on tape or in the cloud, how will you use these back ups, and how quickly will you really be able to get things up and running again?

What are the Costs?

The financial costs were highlighted in an Information Age article earlier this year with an EMC survey from 2013 that put the average financial loss of not investing in disaster recovery at $1,158,077 in the UK, with a $611,375 for downtime. The real impact and costs for business can be much higher.


As well as a lack of productivity and serious commercial losses, there are the harder to quantify but crippling damages to reputation and client confidence. These things can last a long time and can be impossible to fully repair. The truth is that many businesses simply don’t recover and that even a day without their IT systems can be enough to close them down.


Beliefs

Even if you have the healthy belief that if could happen to you and your company, surveys show that you may still not believe that you have adequate plans in place yet.


A communications survey from Service Provider Timico showed that over a third of IT managers are only 'reasonably confident' that their disaster recovery plan is up to scratch in the event of an emergency, and that one in eight of those surveyed had either never tested their disaster recovery solution or didn’t know when the last test took place. The same survey showed that only 9% said that they reviewed and updated recovery plans once a month or more even though they were aware of the substantial risks.


Planning - How Your Business Can Prepare


In short, if you can’t afford an IT disaster then you should be able to afford an effective disaster recovery, business continuity, and virtualization service. Services to look out for include:

  • Disaster Recovery as a service (DRaaS) from a professional and experienced IT support or specialist company. This way you’ll have a plan that works and has most likely been tested in the real world many times.

  • Custom solutions that take into account how frequently you need things backed up and how quickly you will need things back up and running.

  • Virtual Disaster Recovery Services whereby in the event of a disaster you have a securely managed, standby cloud environment that you can launch your data, applications and operating systems into.

    A system like this is based on regular updates that have allowed replicated copy of your environment to be created that when launched can have you back up and running in hours. As well as potentially saving your business, this gives you cost savings because you don’t need failover hardware, and you can access these kinds of systems from a web enabled device wherever you are.