4 aspects of disaster recovery you probably haven't considered

Regardless of the industry your business operates in, having a disaster hit your company is always a possibility. Whether it’s a tornado, equipment failure or just human error, something bad could happen to your business at anytime. This may sound like a gloomy way to view the world, but it’s simply the reality of the situation.

That being said, there is something you can do to mitigate the risks of a catastrophic event. Having a plan in place has long been seen as the best way to maintain business continuity after a disaster. Sadly, many company leaders haven’t considered all sides of disaster recovery before making a decision on it. To that end, we’ve put together this list of four aspects to examine about disaster recovery planning.

1. Your business can easily shut down following a disaster

Although you probably don’t like to think about it, the fact of the matter is that your business is only one major disaster away from shutting down. According to statistics from the Institute for Business and Home Safety posted on the Small Business Association’s website, about 25 percent of smaller businesses don’t come back after a disastrous event.

Disaster recovery planning mitigates the risk of events like a fire. Don’t let a fire ruin your business.

Creating a successful and functioning business takes a lot of time and effort, and the prospect of losing all that hard work due to a single disaster should make you seriously consider how your company is approaching disaster recovery. If you don’t have a solid plan, or just don’t have one at all, your business could very well shut down for good due to a single tragedy.

2. Not having a plan is expensive

When taking on additional expenditures, many business leaders like to talk about how much the service is going to cost. While this is certainly a good place to start for other ventures, the expenses of creating a disaster recovery plan aren’t what you should be focused on. Rather, you should be discussing how much not having a plan is going to cost you.

This is because the absence of a procedure generally results in higher costs in the wake of a disastrous event. According to the Ponemon Institute, the cost of a data breach increases 10 to 15 percent if the organization doesn’t have a disaster recovery plan in place.

The reason for this is simple: Not having a plan typically creates confusion. Confusion in the wake of disaster often creates panic, which results in employees running around not knowing what to do or where to start. This causes more downtime, which means a higher cost to your company’s bottom line.

3. Just having a plan isn’t enough

So now that you’re fully aware of the importance of having a disaster recovery plan in place, it’s time to discuss testing this procedure. Once again, this is another area that many companies tend to take lightly at their own peril. Creating a disaster recovery plan and then never testing it is almost as bad as never having made one at all.

“Roughly 23 percent of organizations with a plan have never tested it.”

This is because it is impossible to predict what kind of challenges your organization will face during a real disaster if you never test for them beforehand. According to a survey conducted by the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, roughly 23 percent of organizations with a plan have never tested it. While this is a disturbing fact by itself, the truly frightening aspect of this is that 65 percent of those that did conduct a test didn’t pass their own inspection.

Basically, this means that a majority of the 23 percent that never test have a faulty plan and don’t even know about it. Having some sort of procedure in place is obviously the first step toward preparing for a disaster, but never testing this plan pretty much negates its ability to save your company’s business continuity.

4. All disaster recovery plans are not made equal

On a similar note, it’s important to understand that just because you have a plan doesn’t mean that it’s effective. This again harkens back to the importance of testing, but having a good procedure in place starts with the plan’s creation.

The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council’s survey speaks to the importance of diligence in the creation of a plan. The study created a metric for grading the preparedness of each organization within the survey, with a grade of A  being the highest and an F being a failure to prepare. The survey found that 73 percent of respondents received a D or an F, meaning they were in no way ready for a disaster.

“Organizations need to focus on having the right plan.”

This again shows that simply having any sort of plan won’t help your company when disaster strikes. Organizations need to focus on having the right plan, and one of the best ways to do this is to get help from disaster recovery experts. There are simply too many aspects to consider when making a procedure for your staff to do it in-house, and there’s nothing worse than discovering your plan is lacking after a disaster has hit your company.

Anyone worried about the safety of their business needs a disaster recovery solution, and ISG Technology has the experience to create a plan that is just right for you. We’ve spent years developing procedures for all kinds of companies, and we can help you keep your business online when times get tough.

If you’d like to see what ISG Technology can do for your company, make sure to check out our page on Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity today.