Understanding the financial impact
There’s no question that data is the lifeline of the modern business, and without access to it for even a minimal amount of time can devastate the bottom line. But how costly is it really?
To really understand the impact, we don’t have to look far beyond the headlines:
- In March 2019, a 14-hour outage cost Facebook an estimated $90 million.
- In August 2016, Delta Airlines suffered a 5 hour power outage at their operations center and were forced to cancel 2,000 flights costing $150 million.
- In March 2015, an Apple Store outage cost Apple an estimated $25 million in lost revenue in just 12 hours.
These are just a few examples of what happens when mission-critical IT infrastructure fails and backup systems don’t kick in quickly enough, resulting in huge impact on the business’ bottom line, not to mention the impact on customer satisfaction and reputation.
How to minimize downtime costs
Obviously, avoiding an outage should be high on the list of priorities; however in case of an outage, disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) plans can save the business tremendous heartburn. Upfront planning and investment in infrastructure can help organizations avoid, or at least more quickly recover from downtime.
To prevent avoidable failures, it is key to thoroughly evaluate disaster recovery plans and build redundancy into the infrastructure supporting the business. Taking time to walk through potential failure scenarios and auditing the effectiveness of existing systems can also help avoid disaster.
What should you consider when developing your plan?
Adopt a No-blame Culture
Blogger, Greg Ferro tweeted, “Reward firefighting and you will create a culture of arsonists.” What does this mean? Gartner puts it this way, “Organizations should reward people based on the problems they prevent, not the problem they fix.” This is a culture shift for traditional IT, but by taking this approach, IT is motivated to proactively identify vulnerabilities and automate processes that remove higher potential for human error.
Off-site Backup and Storage
Any disaster that threatens a business is likely to make access to on-site data impossible. From the onset, security during the backup and accessibility following a crisis must be considered. There’s no point to creating a backup if the data is not transferred via a secure method and stored in an offsite data center with concurrently-maintainable design. In addition, when developing a backup plan, it is key to determine a recovery point objective (RPO), which is the time between the last available backup and when a disruption could potentially occur. The RPO is based on tolerance for loss of data and helps determine how often a backup should be made.
Develop a DR Plan
Developing a DR plan can be overwhelming, so it’s important to remember not to attempt to boil the ocean. Start small with the basics, then add on over time. To begin, define what is important to keep the business running and the recovery time objective (i.e., how quickly the company needs to be up and running after a disaster). Additional considerations are designating who declares a disaster, the process to inform employees that a disaster has occurred, and how customers will be informed and reassured.
Develop a BC Plan
To give your organization the best shot at success during a disaster, you need to put a current, tested plan in the hands of every person responsible for carrying out any part of that plan. The BC plan outlines procedures and instructions an organization must follow in the face of a disaster, such as business processes, assets, human resources, business partners and more. It’s also important to remember that a DR plan is a part of the BC plan; so alignment with IT is crucial.
An Ounce of Prevention...
Obviously, preventing an outage is the number one way to avoid the costly impact of one. The sure solution is to partner with an IT provider whose primary responsibility is monitoring and protecting your critical data and applications.
At OneNeck, we take the time to become intimately acquainted with your IT infrastructure. Our top-tier data centers provide colocation and customizable data and cloud storage options — all with no downtime. If you're looking for a more turnkey, full-service IT solution, OneNeck's managed IT services includes highly-certified experts, live 24/7 US-based support, SSAE 18 compliant and proven ITIL best practices. All of this is wrapped in a high availability service level agreement (SLA) that financially guarantees your satisfaction.
So, take the worry about the costly impact of downtime out of the equation, and start preparing now.