I was at an NZ Computer Society breakfast a while ago, where the speaker talked about disaster recovery. He had been booked long before the Christchurch earthquakes, but his topic was more than timely.
I was interested to hear the speaker quote a statistic that 90% of businesses that lost data would go out of business within a year. This percentage seems to have increased since I last checked, but then he went on to say that 90% of consumers won’t wait for you if you are off-line. And as more and more of our business relies on Internet access of some sort or other, it stands to reason that lost data will mean more serious loss for a business.
The speaker spoke of the importance of having a Disaster Recovery Plan and he showed us a case study of a company that had a comprehensive DR Plan. When this company had a fire they were able to handle it with little disruption to their business.
Fire isn’t the only way that data might be lost. For example, you could have a theft. This has happened to me twice: once my briefcase with laptop, papers and leather binder with diary was stolen from my car, and once someone walked into my office in broad daylight when my back was turned and walked out with two laptops. Fortunately my DR plan meant that there was little disruption for me in technical terms, although the loss of my leather diary folder caused me a lot of headaches. I have never gone back to a diary in a leather folder.
Apart from theft, a disaster I see quite regularly is a system fault. Without a backup this can spell disaster for a company. There are also floods, fire, earthquakes… And even if your office and computers are not damaged in the flood/fire/earthquake, access denial can cause untold problems. Think of the poor business owners in Christchurch who are only now being allowed to go back to their buildings to retrieve computers and equipment. And I even heard of a guy who was denied access to his office because there was a murder outside his building.
Data loss will affect how you conduct your day to day business. For example, a motel owner had a computer crash and he lost all his bookings for a year. Data loss will also affect your insurance premiums. And, most seriously, it will affect your reputation.
It’s prudent and wise to be prepared. If Christchurch has taught us anything this past month, it’s that we need to expect the unexpected. We need to be prepared with a good, workable DR plan. Then we need to test the plan and rehearse the recovery process.
If you need any help with working out a DR plan, that’s my speciality and I would be delighted to show you a simple and effective way to preserve your data. Phone me, Philip at 950 3675 or email me Philip@softpro.co.nz