Why Your Business Needs a Disaster Recovery Plan

A disaster recovery plan is a vital thing to have in times of growing economic uncertainty and a rapidly evolving cyberthreat landscape.

No sensible person would ever drive a car without first making sure they have a valid insurance policy. For the same reasons, no business should be without a disaster recovery plan. While it might not always be possible to plan for every eventuality, a robust and regularly reviewed and updated disaster recovery plan is, effectively, an insurance policy. It is a vital component of business continuity and one that specifically seeks to address the immediacy of unexpected incidents to ensure the business’s survival.

Why Disaster Recovery Planning Revolves Around IT

Every organisation can be defined as the collaboration of people, assets, finance and time to create information which, in turn, needs governance—and governance incorporates protection. As we enter an increasingly knowledge-based economy in which information primarily exists in digital form, it stands to reason that disaster recovery should center around IT systems and operations. In other words, protecting your data is tantamount to protecting your business.

Given the enormous reliance that today’s organizations have on digital technologies, it also makes sense that that is where most of the risks lie. Common threats include natural disasters, human error and cyberattacks—any of which can take down mission-critical systems. Moreover, the costs of downtime are growing all the time. These costs are not always of a financial nature either—in the case of the health care sector, for example, unscheduled downtime can mean the difference between sickness and health.

Insofar as financial costs are concerned, the need for IT disaster recovery planning should be very clear. Extended periods of downtime can leave customers unable to use your services or buy your products or receive the support and customer experience they expect. The modern customer is unforgiving simply because they have more choices than ever before.

What Are the Threats Facing Today’s Data Systems?

In these unpredictable times, disaster can strike at any time. While insurance can help mitigate financial losses to your business, some things are priceless. For example, you cannot place a tangible value on areas like employee productivity and morale or brand reputation. To protect these things, you need to protect your systems and data from a range of threats.

Natural Disasters

The stark truth is that most businesses never reopen if their premises are severely damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster. While physical assets, such as office buildings and product stocks might be financially compensated by insurance, the same cannot be said of data. The value of data and system uptime is, after all, impossible to accurately quantify. Protecting your business against disasters like fires, storms and floods, requires having an off-site backup of all your data—preferably one that is updated in real-time.