I think the following sentence is a given: data is important to your business.
True? Of course it is. What would you do if you had a crisis, for whatever reason, that resulted in lost data? Could you get it back? Would you even know how to try? Do you have a plan? How long would it take? How will it impact business, customers, and reputation?
Most of us get the gist about the importance of not only safety storing data, but also having an extensive and effective plan should something go wrong. Data is important to your business, so it’s important to properly store, manage and recover it.
Don’t succumb to the following excuses. They’re weak and built on nothing but speculation and lazy assumptions!
"My organisation has never suffered from extreme data loss… we don't need a disaster recovery plan!"
90 per cent of businesses have experienced unexpected downtime. You’re lucky if you’re in that other 10 per cent!
Three common causes of downtime include:
1) Hardware malfunctions / software corruptions
This is often the most common cause of data loss due to a number of ways data can be compromised, including electrical failures and crashes in hardware, and software failures.
2) Human error
One of the most common errors is also one of the hardest to prevent.
Regular backups can only help you so much, and it’s not until you experience a human error with your business data that you understand the importance of an accompanying recovery plan.
3) Mother Nature
The most unpredictable cause of data loss is, fortunately, the least common.
You can never predict when (or how!) Mother Nature will strike. Whether it’s something common like a thunderstorm or something with more serious repercussions like an earthquake or flood, you, your employees, business, and industry can NEVER make predictions or assumptions.
Without a data recovery plan, you’ll find it is harder (and takes longer) to get up and running after any of these causes. Preparation and planning is key!
"Downtime won't cost us that much, will it?"
A quick Google search of “the cost of data downtime” brings up a widely referred study from a few years ago, which says data downtime costs US businesses $7900 per minute.
While this figure is startling, to say the least, it’s obvious that we must consider business specifications, in that the cost for a small retailer with less than 10 employees will differ significantly for a global enterprise whose staff exceeds 5000.
Nevertheless, downtime can have serious repercussions for your business. And not even the big guys are safe. Check out these staggering figures:
Facebook loses $24,420 per minute
Amazon.com loses $66,240 per minute
In the aviation industry, every minute a plane remains on the ground due to equipment failure costs around $US10,000.
Other factors affected by downtime include:
Affect on customers
Business / company reputation
"I get it, I get it… but can’t we just cross that bridge when we get to it?"
You know the phrase ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’? It couldn’t ring more true right about now!
If you’re willing to risk financial loss, unhappy customers, and a potentially damaged reputation, then please, by all means, go ahead, and deal with data loss when it happens, whenever that may be (remember, it’s unpredictable!)
Just don’t come crawling back when you realise the significant mistake in judgement you’ve made…
Further to the repercussions listed above, you’re also making a real dent in employee productivity, and, above all, no plan means it will take you longer to get back up and running, thereby increasing your losses – and is that seriously a risk you’re willing to take?
A disaster recovery plan allows you to identify potential threats before they even occur. You will not only identify threats, but also staff responsibilities, actions required, budget needed, and procedures to follow.
We have a disaster recovery plan. We don’t have to worry about testing then, right?
Well at least your intentions are in the right place!
But what use is a plan if when you actually need it, it delivers a fat load of nothing? With an almost infinite number of ways data can be lost or compromised, it doesn’t hurt to have a tested and solid plan.
Periodic testing ensures you have a plan that’s up-to-date and ready to tackle an ever-changing virtual world.
IT managers and workers are consistently looking at ways to enhance protection, and don’t appreciate something as crucial as a disaster recovery plan to be taken so lightly!
Consistent monitoring and testing will also allow your team to identify and rectify elements of your plan.
Next time you (or your boss!) starts rattling off excuses, think like Abraham Lincoln – "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe" – and understand the value of planning and preparation.
Other blogs you may like...
Continue reading about data in our other blog posts: