In the IT sphere, business continuity is the thought-process, planning, and action of making sure your business can quickly resume operations after a system failure, disaster, or other disruption. It effectively reduces any breaks in business so that you can avoid unacceptable consequences associated with said breaks. Business continuity, however, is not as simple as data backups — it’s so much more.
While data backups help ensure that data is safe and can be recovered in case of a system failure, IT business continuity goes a few steps farther by ensuring that business operations, as a whole, can resume quickly after a system failure. For businesses, this quick recovery means everyone can get their jobs done, but it also means significantly fewer profit losses.
Reduce System Failure Downtime
Hardware failure is the number one cause of data loss. Without a business continuity IT plan in place, a downed server could take hours — or even days — to fix and repair, especially if you only have file-level backups. In this case and to resume working, your server would need to be replaced, all software re-installed, all data re-installed, and then the whole system would need to be configured with your settings and preferences. With an IT business continuity plan in place, system failure downtime and costs are significantly reduced.
Calculating the Cost of Data Loss
Data loss and downtime is costly for businesses of all sizes. Reducing your business’ downtime — or planning for business continuity — involves thinking about your business’ Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO).
Recovery Time Objective (RTO): This is the duration of time in which a business must be restored after a disaster, disruption, or downtime to avoid unacceptable consequences — financial or otherwise.
Recovery Point Objective (RPO): This is the maximum tolerable period of time in which data might be lost due to downtime or a disaster.
- Calculate What Type of Data Backup Solution You Need
Start by calculating your desired RTO (what is the maximum time your business can be without data, before getting into serious trouble?). Next, specify your RPO to decide how often you need to perform backups and how much data you can afford to lose without damaging your business. Keep in mind that you may have an RTO of a day and an RPO of an hour. Conversely, your RTO may be in hours and your RPO in minutes. It all depends on what your business data retention requires.
- Calculate How Much Downtime and Lost Data Will Cost You
To calculate the amount lost data and downtime could cost your business, you’ll first need to think about how many employees would be affected if critical data were suddenly unavailable.
To see how much a data loss could cost you, simply add up the following:
- The average wage of the affected employee, per hour.
- The overhead cost of affected employees, per hour.
- The revenue lost due to unavailable data, per hour.
Calculating these very real costs of system downtime and data loss should be a wake-up call for all who think a business continuity strategy isn’t for them. System failure can happen to any business — and its cost can greatly outweigh the implementation and management of an intelligent business continuity solution.
Business Continuity Solutions at Integracon
While reliability and price are great factors when it comes to looking for a business continuity vendor, there are plenty of more important factors to consider. You want IT experts that can guarantee top RTOs and RPOs, hybrid Cloud backup, image-based backups, local and off-site virtualization, screenshot backup verification, and images saved as VMDK for faster recovery. For more on what to look for and ask a business continuity vendor, download our Business Continuity Checklist here or give us a call. We’d love to be your backup and disaster recovery vendor.