With the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene still fresh in our minds, businesses increasingly understand the importance of implementing business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) plans. A recent study showed that 87 percent of companies which lose access to their data for more than a week are destined to go out of business within one year, and 80 percent of companies that experience a disaster but don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place close within 18 months. With statistics like that in mind, business continuity planning is the top priority for SMBs and the second highest priority for enterprises.
Whether it’s a natural disaster, human error, computer virus or hardware failure, disasters are bound to happen from time to time. In fact, 93 percent of businesses admit to enacting their disaster recovery plans at some point. With the average cost of downtime estimated at $336,000 per hour, it’s no wonder more businesses are urgently mapping out their BC/DR plans. In addition to the tremendous costs associated with downtime, businesses also lose customers and reputation due to the expectation of 24/7/365 access. In today’s ultracompetitive business world, your business operations can never afford to stagnate.
While decision-makers in the past have been more reluctant to set aside funding for disaster recovery plans, the rise of cloud computing – which allows data to be stored remotely – has reversed this trend. The draw of backing up data in real time is proving persuasive.
Data stored at hosting company facilities is subject to many precautions, including physical safety mechanisms like fire suppression, on-site security and up-to-date firewalls. Virtual private network (VPN) connections add another layer of security. Storing data at geographically dispersed locations is another safety measure, so that if a natural disaster strikes one area of the world, businesses can mirror their environments to other locations.
Cloud computing data backup methods have made prior formats obsolete by providing business owners a security blanket for business continuity without investing in data center maintenance.
Furthermore, cloud-based BC/DR plans utilize a skilled team of IT professionals to help keep their operations up and running. Your local IT team might have their energies devoted elsewhere during a crisis, but a third-party team will be on the job at all hours to secure your data and systems, giving you an additional layer of assurance – and one less thing to worry about.