We’ve all heard the horror stories about businesses that failed to recover after being cut off from their data for a long period. One reason such tales are so chilling is that bad outcomes can be completely avoided.
Most businesses are aware that they cannot survive a lengthy downtime, yet many are not prepared for the kinds of catastrophes that can happen to them. According to the insurance company Nationwide, 68 percent of businesses have no written disaster recovery plan, even though half said it would take three months to recover from a natural disaster — too long, in many cases, to survive. In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reports that 40 percent of businesses don’t survive a disaster.
Why isn’t this issue a higher priority for more businesses? It’s partly, I think, because natural disasters are considered a remote risk, even if they do seem to be happening more frequently. But nature’s wrath is by no means the only cause for concern. Malicious cyberattacks, technical failures and human error are just as capable of separating a business from its data — and the businesses suffering such mishaps would certainly call them disastrous.
Make Disaster Recovery Part of Data Management
Many businesses also seem to regard disaster recovery as a separate matter from the rest of their data management strategy. As a result, it becomes easier to deal with it later, when things are a bit less hectic. In reality, of course, there is never such a time.
In truth, DR is part of any good data management plan. Whenever it’s time to consider a data center upgrade or just bringing in some new servers, it’s time to think about disaster planning. When a cloud transition is underway, so too should a DR review.
That’s how Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance approached the issue; it deployed a backup data center in 2014 when it moved to the cloud, then last year switched to a Disaster Recovery as a Service solution.
A few conversations with a trusted partner can help businesses choose among the many DR options available, be it a backup data center, the cloud or an “as a service” offering. The most important thing is to take action on a plan — and the sooner, the better.