Simple mistakes in the IT infrastructure can lead to irrecoverable disasters. There are several issues that can go crop up when dealing with large amounts of data, proving fatal for any business. A study by the University of Texas on catastrophic data loss claimed that a staggering 43% of the companies suffering from one loss never reopen after their crisis, 54% end up closing business within 2 years, and only 6% of them actually survive.
With the unpredictability of natural disasters, hardware failure or even your human error, an IT disaster striking your organisation isn’t as unlikely as you may believe. Since prevention of data loss won’t help you every time, the only way out of such a catastrophe is to back up your data, preferably online using cloud storage, and to have a solid data recovery plan in place. Here are 5 of the top reasons you need a backup and disaster recovery plan:
A natural disaster can strike any time
A natural disaster may seem statistically insignificant – but mother nature can be very cruel at times. A flood, storm or fire can strike the area of your business any time, not to mention serious disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes striking occasionally. Any of these disasters can damage all your hardware, causing irreparable damage. Without a disaster recovery plan, it can be a daunting tsask to get the organisation back on its feet, putting the operation of the entire company at risk. In fact, according to an AXA 2007 report, over 80% of the companies that close for more than 5 days don’t open again, so it’s important to have a plan in place to keep your company running in the event of a natural disaster.
People make mistakes
No one is perfect, including you and especially your employees. Saving a file, forgetting to save any changes, accidentally deleting important data or even flipping the wrong switch are mistakes even the best of us can make. No amount of caution can completely prevent human error, and forgetting an important step or entering wrong data can have disastrous consequences for your business which are not even very easy to detect. The only way to ensure that your data is safe is to back it up regularly. Scheduling incremental online backups at regular intervals usually works best. Although training programs can reduce errors to a large extent, having a system in place to check and double check your data, as well as to regularly backup your data online, is the only way to prevent catastrophic data loss
Every business is susceptible to cybercrime
Cyber-crimes are on the rise everywhere, and the more advanced the technology gets, the greater the risk becomes. Every business is just as susceptible to being hacked as the next one. The only solution is to try and guard your data as best as possible, with backup or redundant firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware which would put an additional wall in case of a security breach. Additionally, a disaster recovery plan should include systematic steps to recover from a hacking attempt, with instructions on what to do in case of a virus or ransomware attack, which could bring the organisation to a halt for days on end.
Your hardware can fail, even if you have the latest technology
Although modern IT hardware isn’t very likely to fail, no device is completely immune to failure. A power surge could crash entire systems, or network connections could fail leading to loss of critical data. Since it’s not always possible to reliably predict how the failure can occur, it can prove costly to eliminate every possible point of failure in your IT hardware. The most effective solution to protect against such failures is to backup data regularly.
Customers expect perfection
As technology continues to evolve, customers have come to expect better services for less cost, and they are known to be less forgiving in case of mistakes. Thanks to the free market, they understandably expect businesses to be perfect, since there are many more organisations competing to serve them. In the case of data loss, be it due to an unavoidable natural disaster or a minor mistake with disastrous consequences, your customers are more than likely to leave you for another business. Retaining customers requires effort. Acquiring new ones needs even more. But re-acquiring an old customer after you lose their trust in an IT disaster can prove next to impossible. It takes much less effort, time and resources to come up with a disaster recovery plan, and customer loss can be minimised if it’s executed well.
To conclude, a disaster recovery plan, and regular cloud-based backups are essentials to keep an organisation running and ensure its longevity. A storm or flood, or a simple mistake by one of your employees, or even a power outage resulting in hardware failure – all disasters can have lasting impacts. No hardware or software, however modern, is invulnerable to disaster, and while prevention techniques themselves are crucial, it is much more important to have a recovery plan in place in case disaster strikes.