Disaster Recovery Plans: A Must-Have for every Business in Today’s World

Last updated on March 17th, 2022 at 07:16 pm

There’s no question that there’s been a notable push for economic development in Wisconsin. The state wants businesses to not only survive, but thrive. With growth comes success, but also greater risks. After all, the more companies have, the more they must protect. Surprisingly, 50 percent of small to medium-market businesses are still lacking the vital data protection of a formal disaster recovery plan.

While most businesses invest in insurance to protect their property and employees, many fail to adequately protect the company’s critical data. Only 23 percent of companies back up their data daily. Businesses often think of themselves as invincible— the “it can’t happen to me” mentality—because of the nature of the word “disaster”, which denotes a large, catastrophic event. In the world of business and disaster recovery, however, most disasters do not make the news. A disaster can be anything from power loss to a security breach. And these smaller disasters are far more common than we realize.

To paint a clearer picture, envision a small accounting firm that experiences a random power surge in the middle of the night, destroying its primary server. All of the company’s data—client files, software applications, human resources records, and more — are kept on this server. Employees file into work in the morning to find that they’re unable to access anything, because all of the data is lost. With no backups and no disaster recovery plan, how can this firm continue to function?

Without solid disaster recovery plans in place, many businesses are just one power outage, theft, fire or flood away from losing the ability to conduct business effectively, or at all. Businesses of all sizes should be asking themselves: Are we truly prepared for a disaster of any kind?

When disasters occur—no matter the size or scope—many companies experience significant interruptions in day-to-day operations due to downtime or loss, however, with the help of disaster clean up specialists the time can be less since they have trained staff for situations like this. While large enterprises may have the capital to invest in sophisticated disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, as well as the funds necessary to rebuild their businesses in a worst-case scenario—most small and mid-market businesses remain unprotected. When facing catastrophic events, some may never recover.

One of the most common misconceptions about disaster recovery solutions is that they are expensive. In reality, there are affordable disaster recovery solutions for businesses of all sizes. When determining the ideal solution, it helps to ask the following questions:

  • What sort of plan does the company currently have?
  • What is the company’s size? How much data requires protection or backup?
  • How important are the company’s data and applications to conducting day-to-day business? What critical applications require backup?
  • How quickly does the company need to recover from downtime? What is the expected/desired recovery time?
  • How much will prolonged downtime cost the company? Per hour? Per day? Using those figures, determine how much the company is willing or able to pay to prevent revenue loss.

After a company thoroughly reviews its disaster recovery and business continuity needs, it can begin to evaluate the various options available through third-party providers:

Colocation and hot backups. A third-party data center is used to duplicate the company’s site, including all servers, computer systems and backups of user data. In the event of an interruption, the company can be up and running again in a matter of hours.

Server virtualization. In case of disaster, businesses do not need to worry about rebuilding servers or applications, as they are stored off-site and can be brought back online when needed. This can reduce recovery times to four hours or less.

Cloud-based disaster recovery. Across Wisconsin, more businesses are adopting cloud computing solutions every day, a trend that continues to rise in numbers. With cloud-based disaster recovery solutions, the company’s infrastructure and files are replicated in the cloud, and when disaster strikes, can be run directly from the cloud—allowing a company to be operating again within minutes, not hours. This solution is cost effective since companies pay only for what they use, and keeping data in the cloud decreases the use of data center space and other resources.

Managed recovery. For companies without IT staff to support a disaster recovery operation, or that want to avoid a “do it yourself” plan, managed recovery offers an option in which recovery is performed by the vendor to simplify and quicken the process.

No business wants to have to rely on their disaster recovery/business continuity solutions to keep operations afloat. But think of it as what it is: insurance. And no business should be without it.

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