What’s the lifeblood of your business? Typically, you’ll hear an answer like ‘our people’, or ‘our commitment to the customer’…but while there are events that can hurt a business, there are also events that can bring your company to its knees, in a matter of minutes. Or seconds.

Your responsibility as an IT professional is to put a strategic contingency plan in place to be able to restore mission critical systems within a specific time frame in order to minimize losses.

Do you have a Disaster Recovery plan? Is it tested? Yes, I said tested. Not in a theoretical, process-driven sort of way. Does your organization have Restore Time Objectives (RTOs), and/or Restore Point Objectives (RPOs) that have been tested and verified to be met or exceeded?

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the duration of time and a service level within which a business process must be restored after a disaster in order to avoid unacceptable consequences associated with a break in continuity.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is the age of files that must be recovered from backup storage for normal operations to resume if a computer, system, or network goes down as a result of a hardware, program, or communications failure.

What constitutes a disaster? Here are some interesting statistics regarding the cause of IT related ‘disasters’:

  • 60% Human Error

  • 56% Unexpected Updates & Patches

  • 44% Server Room Issues

  • 29% Power Outages

  • 26% Fire or Explosions

  • 10% Earthquakes

Don’t put this off. It’s time to put proper disaster recovery planning at the top of your current list of IT initiatives.

A disaster isn’t a disaster until it’s a disaster. By then, it’s too late.

What is your cost of downtime? Here are some statistical averages:

$164,000/hour – small businesses

$215,000/hour – medium sized businesses

$686,000/hour – large businesses

Know your cost of downtime. Have a plan in place. Test that plan. If you aren’t able to test your plan…it’s not good enough.

‘Oh sh-t’ happens. Don’t let it put you out of business.

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