Disaster can strike at any time and in any place. That’s why we can’t emphasis enough the importance of having a disaster recovery plan in place before the inevitable happens. Whether it’s a natural disaster, like a flood or a hurricane, or the power goes out for an extended period of time. In either situation, the reality is that your business could shut down for days — even weeks — without access to vital customer information and internal systems. In fact, Hurricane Sandy was estimated to have caused between $30 billion and $50 billion in total losses, according to IHS Global Insight.
While it’s easy to preach the importance of disaster recovery plans, nothing really hits home quite like a real-world example of how an IT recovery plan can save your data — and your business.
Bush Ross, a Tampa based law firm, realized firsthand how integral a disaster recovery plan is when Hurricane Charley hit in 2004. The firm’s T1 phone lines went down for 24 hours, causing clients and court officials to be completely cut off from the firm’s lawyers. Since there was no recovery plan in place, cell phones or alternate contact information hadn’t been given out to anyone, communication was essentially dead until the T1 lines could be repaired, according to the firm’s Director of Information Technology.
After experiencing how devastating even phone lines going down can be for a business’ bottom line, the firm immediately implemented a disaster recovery plan which included alternate communication plans in case of interrupted phone service.
Huge natural disasters aren’t the only type of disaster you should plan for, though. The Golden Box, a NYC based custom packaging company, experienced a power surge strong enough to knock out their server one day. Even though this wasn’t a huge disaster, it was enough to wipe out files and productivity for a while had they not put together a disaster recovery plan and started backing up data just three days before. Luckily, they had all of the files they needed to get back up and running quickly and without a lot of delay. Otherwise, they could have been stuck without the ability to service customers for a week or more.
Disasters can come in many shapes, but the only way to really prevent a disaster from taking down your business is to prepare for the future and put a strong disaster recovery plan in place. To get started, talk to an IT professional or IT company who can help you design a tailored disaster recovery approach that makes sense for you, your employees, and your business. The best protection against disaster is always preparedness.