According to a recent benchmark survey by the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, nearly three quarters of companies worldwide are failing in terms of disaster readiness, with struggles in downtime for specific critical applications or even entire data center environments. Close to 20 percent of companies reported losses of over $50,000 stemming from outages. Companies can protect themselves against this possibility by investing in resilient data center solutions from a colocation provider focused on business continuity.

"Reliability starts with high industry standards in a checklist of requirements: climate-controlled environments, intelligent security structure and state-of-the-art equipment, technologies and design," contributor Kevin Knuese wrote in a recent article.

He noted that companies should look for data center solutions with redundant networking and power supplies, as well as redundant cooling systems and all-around state-of-the-art technology. Additional data center features such as 24/7 monitoring and physical security safeguards meant to withstand both break-ins and natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes are important as well. A hosting provider based in the Midwest can be particularly reliable due to the reduced likelihood of certain natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes and mudslides that are more common on the coasts.

A provider that offers backup and business continuity services is also important, Knuese wrote. Executives can sometimes be skeptical of "disaster recovery," seeing it as an alarmist term and frustrating cost driver, according to industry expert Steve Kahan. However, the argument for a reliable data center and backup solution is more clear-cut, as such technology solves the problem of many IT headaches. As a result, a colocation provider with business continuity services can be key for maintaining brand credibility from an IT side.

"Some audiences are more responsive when the conversation is focused on the crucial role that IT plays in ensuring 'business continuity' or the operational costs triggered by an 'extended outage,'" Kahan wrote for "Here's one more suggestion: think of disaster preparedness as 'an investment in brand security,' a way to protect your company's reputation."