Most business leaders have understood for quite some time that it is essential to have a solid disaster recovery (DR) plan in place to protect the integrity of their IT infrastructure. In recent months, as cybercrime has skyrocketed and natural disasters continue to proliferate, we have learned that planning for disaster recovery in 2022 is much more urgent than ever before.
Throughout the west and elsewhere in the world, wildfires have caused a disturbing number of catastrophic business disruptions, while elsewhere, hurricanes and floods have crippled more and more businesses. In fact, the growth rate of business impacts from man-made and natural disasters is demonstrably alarming.
I’m sure you are aware that data has become more valuable to your organization, which is one reason it has become more vulnerable. Let’s consider the most relevant statistics regarding the most common form of catastrophic IT disaster: ransomware cyberattacks.
The dire situation is described in a recent white paper, The State of Ransomware and Disaster Preparedness: 2022, issued by the universally respected technology analysis firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Its study found that a whopping 83% of survey respondents reported that they had experienced data corruption from a cyberattack.
Even more surprising, more than half of the organizations surveyed—nearly 60%—reported that they were unable to recover data lost in a cyberattack. That number had jumped 17% in the two years since the previous IDC study of this issue.
Again, these are only the direst IT-related disasters. Everyday issues such as power failures, hardware failures, and network failures, which together account for more than 80% of IT disruptions, frequently cause damage that is very expensive to repair.
All of these facts taken together lead us to conclude that a disaster recovery plan is one of your best investments. Quest has been able to help many companies whether they had a DR plan or not, but it is far more difficult to recover from a disaster without a DR plan in place.
Surviving a disaster, and avoiding the major distraction a catastrophic event can cause
Here’s a brief story about a longtime client, a financial institution that was able to avoid a lot of heartache because Quest’s Disaster Recovery Services team had helped them put together a solid plan.
When wildfires ravaged the city where this institution is headquartered, its CIO and IT team were able to take immediate action. First, they prepared to initiate a “failover,” in which all their network operations would be switched to a redundant network that we had established in another location. Although that would have been a relatively seamless operation, even a smooth failover process would have inconvenienced their customers at an extremely stressful time, so that was not acceptable.
The CIO and his team drove through flying embers in the pre-dawn darkness to retrieve the equipment they needed from their headquarters, and later that morning, they arrived at Quest’s Northern California High Availability Business Center (HABC).
Thankfully, that fire spared this institution’s headquarters, but if disaster had struck, they would have been able to run their entire infrastructure from Quest’s HABC site. Knowing this, and knowing that they had a trusted partner and a plan in place, allowed the rest of the executive team to focus on business essentials at a critical time when distraction might have been disastrous.
The first step toward disaster recovery preparedness and guaranteed business continuity
The IDC report mentioned above discusses the costs and consequences that result from inadequate disaster recovery planning. These include immediate costs such as overtime and loss of employee productivity, direct loss of revenue, and the actual costs of recovery. In addition, 32% of respondents reported minor damage to their reputation, 28% reported major damage to their reputation, and 22% suffered the permanent loss of customers.
Companies that have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place can push through this kind of traumatic event and continue to drive their operational and financial results. This is why I advise business leaders to correlate technological resilience with organizational success. I advise you to view investment in disaster recovery and business continuity as an opportunity to make your organization more competitive. Don’t think of DR as a cost center. Instead, regard it as a business driver.
If this information is new to you, or if you’ve heard it before and are willing to put some thought into it, please consider a Disaster Recovery Workshop. It’s a session that will help you identify vulnerabilities, define stakeholders, and learn about industry standards. As with everything we do here, Quest will help you find flexible solutions tailored to your organization’s specific needs. Depending on those needs, you might choose to utilize the cloud for disaster recovery by moving your backup and DR functionality to cloud services, or to a secure, off-site data center—or both.
I also invite you to fill out our Disaster Recovery Worksheet. This worksheet asks the questions you really need to be asking yourself to determine your next steps.
I hope you found this information helpful. As always, contact us anytime about your technology needs.
Until next time,