Authored by Jamie Warner – CEO, eNerds
Imagine the impact on your business’ sales and profitability should it lose all of its critical data.
Despite all of the advancements in technology and the tools available, small to medium businesses (SMEs) continue to treat data loss as an ‘insurance’ type event which doesn’t happen often. As a result, they seldom put much energy into preventative measures. The reality is businesses do lose data and the first step is to acknowledge this very real business continuity threat.
In a recent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, it was found that Australasia has the greatest volume of compromised data records globally. These compromised data records cost Australasian businesses an average of $133 per record in 2012.
For a SME, these costs can quickly add up. The total cost of data loss depends on the impact it has on your business to continue providing its services. Should you need to replace IT infrastructure, the cost to replace faulty servers or hardware can be anywhere from $5,000 to over $100,000, depending on the amount and type of infrastructure being replaced.
Beyond the hard costs, there is the resulting impact on business continuity to consider, including decreased competitive advantage, litigation and damage to reputation are all potential fallouts from data loss.
The primary reason businesses lose data is because they haven’t developed an adequate Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) or Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
A DRP is a plan which focusses on Backup and Disaster Recovery of your data. Data can be lost in any number of ways including user errors and deletion, theft, server infrastructure failure and technical or natural disasters. A DRP ensures that should one of these events occur, your data is safe and retrievable.
A BCP is focused on the overall ability of your business to continue operating in the event that a disaster strikes. Let’s say your building has a fire and your staff can’t get into the office, how will they continue to work, where will the phone calls go and how will you service your clients?
These days we have amazing technologies and services to provide solutions to your data backup and disaster recovery requirements, you just have to make it a priority for your business.
Disaster recovery software
If you haven’t heard about Disaster Recovery Imaging Software such as StorageCraft (Shadow Protect) or Symantec, then you need to ask your IT Consultant. This software is the single most important piece of software to use for Backup and Disaster Recovery. It takes a full ‘image’ of your servers and updates the image incrementally, as often as every 15 minutes. You can recover files within that period and save entire systems without having to reload servers and software in the event of disaster.
Review your disaster recovery plan
It is highly recommended that you speak with your IT Provider or IT Consultant about your DRP or BCP to confirm you have the right solution or process in place.
It is vitally important that the business owner or directors take an active interest in the development of these plans, in particular the BCP. The BCP strategy and subsequent investment must align with your business objectives and budget. Some businesses, for example, have a higher tolerance for downtime, while others will need to aim for maximum uptime as it relates to your Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Understanding your requirements will help guide your IT partner to develop the correct solution for your business.
Jamie Warner is CEO of eNerds, a business IT Services provider based in Sydney. eNerds has a proven track record in providing services to the small to medium businesses with 20-500 staff. If you have a unique IT challenge to resolve, Jamie’s team is available to discuss your requirements further on 1300 888 100 or www.enerds.com.au.