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The dangers of leaving disaster recovery out of your IT budget.

Why disaster recovery should be a necessity for your business, not an option.

Many UK corporations take the view that investing in disaster recovery and business continuity is just not necessary and opt to apportion the company budget in different areas. If this is your view, it’s a very risky one and could result in the loss of more than a period of downtime.

A significant number of businesses fail to fully recover from the impact of a disaster that they could have survived if only they had had the foresight to plan ahead. So, what stops businesses from planning for the consequences of what could go wrong?

Why businesses don’t plan for DR.

There are a number of reasons why SMEs fail to plan for how they will recover after a disaster and continue to operate. These include ignorance of the need and/or consequences, thinking it doesn’t apply to them due to size and/or reach of their operation or assuming that their IT infrastructure is secure. However, the three main reasons are:

1. Cost – it is widely assumed the costs associated with implementing a DR (Disaster Recovery) plan are going to be very high. Businesses weigh the perceived cost against what they assume to be a small probability of experiencing a disaster and draw the conclusion that it’s not worth the expense. A ‘we’ll cross that bridge’ attitude is adopted, only to find that trying to deal with the consequences of a disaster when one is actually happening, is too late and costs far more than the initial outlay of an effective DR solution.

2. Lack of outage awareness – many SMEs don’t realise how their business is being affected by small outages and this is likely due to a lack of reporting. Management may assume that their IT infrastructure is solid because they are unaware of any problems. This lack of awareness can accumulate over time to negatively impact running costs and reputation and result in lost business, customer loyalty and productivity. An effective DR solution with appropriate monitoring  (see our PRTG product for details) would quickly identify areas in the infrastructure that require improvement and immediately have an impact on efficiency and security of data.

3. Small amounts of downtime are routinely accepted – as par for the course in business and, consequently, they are overlooked or viewed as unimportant. However, what may start as a small problem could exacerbate over time if left unchecked. Disaster could be as a result of human error, a natural event, software/hardware malfunction or cyber-crime but the fact is, the more businesses are relying on their IT environment to support the operation, the more need there is for a reliable disaster recovery solution.

Why should you make DR a priority for your SME?

Without a disaster recovery plan in place, your business risks:

  • picking up the bill for new hardware/software that may have suffered catastrophic damage
  • paying expensive ransoms as a consequence of cyber-crime (ASL would never advocate paying a ransom)
  • losing income from production/sales losses
  • paying salaries of employees unable to work because the business has ground to a halt
  • security threat to own/client data
  • loss of client confidence
  • inability to recover altogether and facing business closure.

How ASL can help with your DR planning and implementation.

ASL have over 20 years of experience in helping small, medium and large corporations to plan for and avert the worst happening, keeping you up and running when they need it the most.

Our experts can visit you on-site and offer a review of your IT environment and create a disaster recovery solution that is scalable to your business needs and tailored to your budgetary requirements. DR doesn’t necessarily mean having to invest in a secondary data centre. Other options exist, such as Cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), which we will be more than happy to discuss with you to help you conclude which is the best recovery strategy for your business.

To discuss your disaster recovery option in more detail, speak to an ASL expert on 0345 862 0350.

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