Why a Business Continuity Plan is More Than Just Data Backups

Your business’s data is important — so important that losing it could be the end of your business itself. You can protect against data loss with data backups (especially highly effective ones like hybrid cloud-based data backup systems), but have you thought about what happens to your business’ finances and reputation during the time in which your data or systems are down? Did you know there’s a way to protect against downtime, one that involves so much more than data backups?

What is Downtime?

Downtime can be defined as the time in which any machine, especially a computer or network of systems, is unavailable for use. This time of inactivity results in stops in production, employee productivity, sales, and client or customer trust, but it also has costly financial repercussions (learn how to calculate your potential cost of downtime here). Depending on what’s causing your particular type of downtime (anywhere from network outages, employee errors, all the way to natural disasters), downtime could last hours, days, or weeks. With these factors in mind, how confident are you that you’d be able to resume normal operations, after a data loss incident, within minutes?

With Integracon’s help, you likely can.

Why You Must Plan For Downtime

Businesses of all sizes have data to protect. Whether you have a large business with massive servers or you have a small business using personal laptops and desktops, your data is important to the success and future of your business. Yet, why is it that 75% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have no disaster recovery plan for their data and business operation? Why do only 50% of these SMBs back up less than 60% of their data?

The lack of a disaster recovery plan is costly. In 2012, SMBs lost anywhere from $500,000 to over $1 million due to downtime. A 2013 study showed that, on average, downtime costs businesses of all sizes $163,674 per hour, with the average length of time to recover being 5.18 hours (if your business is large or recovery time is longer, the cost could be much higher). Additional downtime studies, conducted in 2016, showed the rising cost of downtime with downtime costs ranging from over $100,000 to over $5 million for every hour of downtime. With figures like this, it’s easy to see why FEMA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) report, respectively, that 40% and 90% of all businesses permanently shut down after a disaster (within 2 weeks, according the SBA). These numbers speak for themselves — you must plan for downtime to prevent this. Don’t assume it can’t or won’t happen to your business.

Read more and find these downtime statistic sources on “Downtime: How Much It Could Cost Your Business” and “Backup vs. Business Continuity: Using RTO to Better Plan for Your Business.”  

Don’t Just Backup Data — Plan For Business Continuity

When you plan for downtime, you need to have a plan that goes beyond simply backing up your data. Data backups are important, as well as a part of a business continuity plan, but the two offer different data protection mindsets. Here’s what we mean:

Data backup mindset: This answers the questions of “is my data safe, and can it be recovered after a failure?” It’s a good first step in the data protection game, but it still leaves your business vulnerable. For example: If your server dies (hardware failure is the number one cause of lost data), you wouldn’t be able to quickly resume work if you only had file-level backups. For you to start working again, your server would need to be replaced, all software and data would need to be reinstalled, and then the whole system would need to be configured with your settings and preferences. This process could take hours or even days, which could be extremely costly for your business.

Business continuity mindset: This mindset involves thinking about your business’ data protection at a higher level by asking: “How quickly can I resume business operations in case a system failure occurs?” Answering this question and preparing for downtime scenarios will help your business recover quickly — think recovery within seconds or minutes, rather than hours or more — which will greatly offset any repercussions of downtime. The business continuity mindset also involves determining your business’ RPO and RTO (to see how much downtime and data loss will actually cost you) and making sure you or your business continuity specialist is meeting these business continuity must-haves.

How to Protect Your Business From Data Loss and Downtime Disasters

When you protect your business with a business continuity plan and with the IT specialists at Integracon Technologies, you’re taking a huge step in ensuring the future of your business. With Integracon’s IT assistance, you’ll finally be confident in knowing that your data is really protected and that you’d be able to recover quickly if an IT disaster should strike.

Integracon is a leading provider of hybrid cloud-based backups, disaster recovery (BDR), and business continuity solutions, available in both physical and virtual platforms. We provide best-in-class technology and 24/7/365 tech support to more than 300 partners. Contact us today at (865)-330-2323.