Disaster recovery is one of those uncomfortable topics that people generally don't like to talk about. Discussing the possibility of a catastrophic event knocking out business is stressful, and it can seem a lot easier to just put the conversation off for later.

But disasters don't wait for you to be prepared. They hit companies whenever and however they want, and if you aren't ready for them you could end up losing quite a lot of business.

To stress the importance of being prepared as soon as possible, let's take a look at the top three reasons you need a disaster recovery plan right now:

1. Disaster recovery plans help you reassess the importance of your data
Whether you know it or not, your company creates a lot of data simply by conducting business as usual. This data could be as vital as information needed to complete a big project, or it could be as inconsequential as a list of office birthdays that someone in HR created.

Obviously, this first dataset is more important than the second, and as such needs to be accessible during a disaster. When creating a disaster recovery plan, you'll have to sit down and parse through a lot of the data your company has created to separate the mission-critical information from the materials you don't absolutely need. 

Not only will this give you a deeper look into what your company needs in order to function properly, it will also help you cull the information that is no longer necessary but has simply been forgotten or pushed to the side. Efficiency is key, and this is especially true when creating a disaster recovery solution.

2. It's not about if, but when
Regardless of your industry, the size of your company and whatever your current business model, only one thing is certain: Disaster is coming. It may not be today or tomorrow or anytime soon, but it's coming. According to a survey commissioned by EMC Corporation and conducted by Vanson Bourne, 64 percent of the participating enterprises reported experiencing downtime or data loss within the last 12 months.

The fact that this survey questioned 3,300 IT decision-makers from 24 countries shows this isn't a problem contained in a single country or industry. Rather, unexpected downtime can and does affect a vast majority of businesses. This is especially true for the 51 percent of those surveyed who said their organizations lacked a disaster recovery plan for emerging workloads. These companies simply weren't prepared for when the worst happens. 

Having a disaster recovery plan in place is a lot like having an umbrella. You don't need it until it starts raining, and then you really need it. 

Unlike an umbrella, however, failing to have a disaster recovery plan in place won't end with your new haircut getting a little wet. In fact, being unprepared for a disastrous event that knocks out your ability to conduct business could end up costing your company a lot of time, frustration and money. 

3. Downtime is extremely expensive
Not being able to go about business as usual can have multiple negative effects on your company. That being said, the easiest problem to quantify is the money lost during downtime. The EMC survey found that data loss and unexpected downtime costs businesses $1.7 trillion every year.

To put that into perspective, the gross domestic product of the United Kingdom was $2.94 trillion dollars in 2014. Unexpected downtime is costing enterprises across the globe more than half of the entire GDP of a first-world nation. This isn't some small problem to be dealt with later; this is a massive epidemic that must be addressed now. 

If your company doesn't currently have a disaster recovery plan in place, make sure to contact ISG Technology. With more than 30 years of disaster recovery experience, ISG Technology can help you make sure your business stays afloat when disaster comes.