Disaster recovery, what’s stopping you?

Unfortunate tech glitches can come at a high price for businesses. According to analyst group, Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is approximately £4,400 per minute. But it’s not just the cost of the downtime that businesses need to worry about. There’s also the reputation of the business and the angry customers threatening to take their business elsewhere if the situation is not quickly resolved. By James Smith, Hosting Solutions Director, M247.

  • 5 years ago Posted in

IT infrastructure fails sometimes and that’s a fact, and enterprise networks and data access failures can happen to any business at any time. Unfortunately, it’s not just faulty software that can cause an outage, there are many risks that need to be considered, none which are easy to prevent. From internal human error through to cyber attacks or fire, floods or terrorist attacks, man-made or natural disasters can happen at any time and businesses need to be prepared.

With the potential for an unknown threat a very real prospect for most businesses, having a disaster recovery plan in place should be a no-brainer. However, a surprising number of businesses, and not just SMEs, have no plan B in the event of an incident that could cause their infrastructure to fail, risking complete business disruption.

Over the years we’ve heard many different reasons from businesses of all shapes and sizes as to why they haven’t got around to putting a plan in place and here are five of the barriers we see all too frequently:

1.       It won’t happen to us

Many businesses simply haven’t made the realisation that it’s entirely possible that their infrastructure can be compromised. Or, if they’re a small business they may not think it’s worth it as they’re too small to be the victim of a cyber-attack. The harsh reality is that any business can be compromised at any time from either a man made or natural disaster, so this head in the sand mentality could come at a huge cost. IT system failures, outages and cyber attacks are a daily world-wide occurrence, so it’s important to plan for when, not if, an incident occurs.

2.       Lack of budget

Investment in IT infrastructure needs to be more than 1-2% of revenue, and many businesses don’t invest enough for it to be robust, secure and resilient as it is, without considering spending any of their budget on disaster recovery. A backup plan should be considered as an essential part of the IT budget, and not as a ‘nice to have’ insurance policy.

3.       Lack of buy-in from the senior team

The IT team might not need much convincing that a disaster recovery plan is a business essential but convincing the senior team might be a different matter. However, high profile case studies like the recent O2 outage serve as a reminder of what can happen in the event of an IT failure. As a result of ‘faulty software’, millions of O2 customers were unable to access their data, while the services it provides for other mobile network providers suffered too.

 It’s important to assess the cost of any potential downtime, and what it means for customers, staff productivity and brand reputation and then present the various scenarios to the senior team. This might just be the ammunition needed to move ahead with a disaster recovery plan.

4.       The search for the right solution provider

Organisations can work with a variety of IT solutions providers but often what they lack is one proactive partner who can provide them with the practical advice they need to help them plan for any eventualities and help them through the process.

Work with a provider you trust to help put in place a disaster recovery plan, and a partner that you can turn to for around the clock support if needed.

5.       Security and compliance concerns

Businesses may have to comply with various regulations depending on the types of data being stored and processed, such as no offshoring of personal data, and even SMEs need to be GDPR aware with policies in place to mitigate the risk.  Most datacentres are highly secure, and if you’re considering backing up data to a secure facility off site, then it’s important to ask the datacentre provider about their physical and non-physical security arrangements.

Whatever the barrier to putting together a disaster recovery plan, none are insurmountable. The important thing is to find a way around the obstacles and put a plan in place to ensure it’s business as usual in the event of a disturbance. Don’t wait for disaster to strike, be prepared for it, if and when it does.





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