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Why a Disaster Recovery Plan is Critical for Your 2021 Business

Two firefighters battling a blaze.
You can protect your organization against catastrophic disruptions resulting from fire, cyberattack or power failure by creating a disaster recovery plan. 

Why a disaster recovery plan is critical for your 2021 business

Many business leaders have come to understand that a disaster recovery plan is a crucial business driver—an essential component that must be built into the center of their operations. Unfortunately, more than a few decision makers have learned this fact the hard way. Here in Northern California, for example, wildfires have caused some catastrophic business disruptions, while in other parts of the world, hurricanes and floods have crippled an increasing number of businesses. And, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted many companies.

Disastrous cyberattacks have reached epidemic proportions—almost half of respondents to a recent poll by analyst firm IDC reported that they have lost unrecoverable data due to a cyberattack. Meanwhile, everyday issues such as power failures, hardware failures, and network failures account for more than 80% of IT related disruptions.

When such incidents occur, recovering from a disaster is one thing for businesses that have a DR plan in place, and quite another for organizations that do not. Quest has been able to help many companies in both of these positions, and you definitely want to be in the former category. 

I’ll tell you a brief story about a longtime client, a financial institution that was able to avoid a lot of heartache because Quest’s Disaster Recovery Services team had helped them put together a solid plan. 

When the city where this institution is headquartered was being ravaged by wildfire, its CIO and IT team were able to take immediate action. First, they prepared to initiate what is known as a “failover,” in which all of their network operations would be switched to a redundant network that we had established in another location. Although that would have been a relatively seamless operation, even a smooth failover process would have inconvenienced their customers at an extremely stressful time, so that was not acceptable. 

The CIO and his team drove through flying embers in the pre-dawn darkness to retrieve the equipment they needed from their headquarters, and later that morning they arrived at Quest’s Northern California High Availability Business Center (HABC).

Thankfully, that fire spared this institution’s headquarters, but if disaster had struck, they would have been able to run their entire infrastructure from Quest’s HABC site. Knowing this, and knowing that they had a trusted partner and a plan in place, allowed the rest of the executive team to focus on business essentials at a critical time when distraction might have been disastrous.

 

The first step toward disaster recovery preparedness and guaranteed business continuity

According to the IDC report referenced above, 50 percent of organizations could not survive a disaster event. Downtime due to natural disaster, cybercrime or technical failure across all industries costs an average of $250,000 per hour (at financial institutions the average cost is significantly higher). Beyond dollars, failing to keep your operation functional does damage to your reputation and can cause you to lose customers for good.

I have advised business leaders for quite some time to correlate technological resilience with organizational success. I advise you to view investment in disaster recovery and business continuity as an opportunity to make your organization more competitive. Don’t think of DR as a cost center. Instead, regard it as a business driver

If this information is new to you, or if you’ve heard it before and are willing to put some thought into it, please consider a Disaster Recovery Workshop. It’s a free session that will help you identify vulnerabilities, define stakeholders, and learn about industry standards. As with everything we do here, Quest will help you find flexible solutions tailored to your organization’s specific needs. Depending on those needs you might choose to utilize the cloud for disaster recovery by moving your backup and DR functionality to cloud services, or to a secure, off-site data center—or both.

I have one more thing on this topic to share: I invite you to fill out our Disaster Recovery Worksheet. This Worksheet asks the questions you really need to be asking yourself and could help you determine your next steps. I hope you found this information helpful. As always, contact us anytime about your technology needs.

Until next time,

Tim

Tim Burke
Meet the Author

Tim Burke is the President and CEO of Quest. He has been at the helm for over 30 years.


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