3 Areas for the Best Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
The unpredictable nature of our world is often epitomized through natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and wildfires. Other realistic threats like terrorist attacks and times of war are commonly addressed in contingency plans as well. But in January of 2020 we added a new danger to our list of scenarios: a global pandemic. On December 31, 2019, a pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, China was first reported to the WHO Country Office in China. By January 30 of 2020 the outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. In just 30 days the world as we knew it was forever changed.
While there is no concrete data on the cost of this pandemic just yet, we can look at the data of previous disasters to aid in understanding the lasting impact this will have on our economy. Wildfires, storms, and floods are capable of leveling homes, cars, and businesses as well as taking the lives of many caught in the path. According to FEMA 40% of small businesses will not reopen after a natural disaster. Nationwide Insurance has found that 68% of small businesses don’t have a written disaster recovery plan. Many businesses, large and small alike, are finding out just how unprepared they are for the unknown threat of a global pandemic. In these uncertain times, preservation of business continuity and integrity has never been more imperative.
Forming a contingency plan can be a challenging task, requiring a breadth of knowledge and experience. To assist in planning, begin by focusing on these three areas to better prepare and protect your business data from the unpredictable.
Fortunately, there are precautions to bolster any business from the unexpected. Begin by focusing on these three areas to better prepare and protect your business data from the unpredictable.
- Data Security
- Maintaining Contact
- Uninterrupted Business
These business continuity measures protect and enable businesses to persevere through and after a disaster.
1. Data Security - Go Beyond Securing Windows & Doors
Regardless of the format (paper, digital, or a combination) your data is not invincible. Relocating contracts and documents is often not enough. Depending on their size and volume it may not even be an option. Thinking outside of the standard server box is required.
While many question the security and need for the cloud, its very nature allows it to be the answer to helping business data survive natural disasters because of its ability to store off premises. Consider these stunning statistics for businesses dealing with disasters. PC Magazine has found that “93% of companies that lost their data center for ten or more days due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster,” and “60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within six months of the disaster.” Still less than half of businesses back up their data daily and the majority (59%) of those that do back up do so in only one physical location. Taking the time to simply back up information on the cloud can save you from closing those boarded up windows and doors forever.
2. Maintaining Contact – Close the Separation Gap
The storm has passed. Employees are ok, but you can’t get into the office. Or maybe there still isn’t power at the office. The ability to pick back up where you left off is key to the necessary stability required to keep business moving forward, away from the large percentage of those who won’t recover.
When dealing with records, contracts, and documents the vehicle to do this is an online workflow management software. It allows for data to be securely and centrally located for access by internal and external parties (IE. Vendors, promisor, promisee, etc.).
In the case of an evacuation or office fire staff maintains the ability to collaborate on edits, reviews, and to electronically sign pending contracts and documents. By placing data in the cloud teams can quickly solve pressing issues that weren’t able to be wrapped up before the unexpected event took place.
3. Uninterrupted Business – Staying Open When Roads & Doors are Closed
A 2015 infographic by Infrascale list losses for only one hour of downtime at $8000 for small businesses, $74,000 for medium businesses and $700,000 for enterprises. Experts have estimated the cost of losing critical applications at more than $5000 per minute. The Institute for Business and Home Safety states that only 25% of businesses that close due to a major disaster will reopen. For every dollar invested in preparing for a disaster businesses will save seven dollars that would be spent to recover from it. Being prepared with a secure way to keep business going even when the doors are closed is key to avoid being another statistic.
The cloud has proven to be a secure option to help keep business open when the doors are closed. Twenty percent of cloud storage users are able to quickly recover from a site disaster in four hours or less. Cloud storage providers like Azure and Peak10+viawest provide failback expansion that significantly lowers business operational risk and potential for data loss in the event of a disaster by allowing users to increase disaster preparedness.
Disaster knows no color, creed, rich, or poor. It does not discriminate. It happens. Disaster doesn’t reside on an island in the ocean. Blink and it’s on your doorstep. Here’s one last statistic to take in, according to the Bureau of labor, 20% of businesses will experience an unanticipated interruption (natural disaster, fire, power outage, etc.) this year and 80% of those businesses will collapse. Will your business be prepared or join the 60% that won’t recuperate?
View a recording of our webinar “How to Protect Your Business from the Unexpected” and equip your business with continuity to survive and thrive.