Recent surveys suggest that an inordinate amount of businesses have left themselves exposed to catastrophic losses because they have no IT disaster recovery plan in place.

Symantec’s 2012 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey reported only half of the surveyed business organizations to have plans in place for the event of a disaster or situation that could jeopardize data or otherwise inhibit their ability to conduct day-to-day operations. The survey encompassed 2,053 organizations across 30 countries and was cross-industry in scope.

It’s Time for a Plan

The problem is exacerbated by the additional finding that even today, data backup is performed irregularly, if at all. 50% of the organizations surveyed are at risk due to their failure to routinely back up data primary server storage on a weekly basis or to invest in business recovery systems. Only 26% of those participating in the 2012 survey stated that they had a full disaster recovery plan in place.

IT services companies are well aware of the consequences of failing to plan for recovery in the event of a loss caused by earthquakes, floods, fire, or hackers. Because of the rise in hacking incidents and identity theft, companies are facing more significant risk than when they only faced natural disasters. Without a plan in place, such human-made threats could make it impossible for a return to normal operations.

Protect Your Customers

Invaluable business data includes customer contact information, billing information, customer price quotes, vendor contact information, vendor price quotes, tax collection information, and similar critical bits of information. Such a data loss puts a business in an embarrassingly untenable position. In the latest survey, only 43% claimed they had an offsite failover plan in place.

Confident Backups

Only 21% of respondents to Symantec’s 2012 survey advised that they were very confident they could restore from the backups they have. In some cases, data housed in remote locations is never backed up to the central office. It is a requirement to perform backup verification, ensuring all backed up files are uncorrupted and undamaged, second, and are recoverable and readable. It serves no purpose to backup data only to learn that they are, in fact, unrecoverable at a time when files need to be recovered.

The focus towards profit-intense IT projects has left disaster recovery on the back burner. Some are awakening to the problem, perhaps because of the increased news coverage of worldwide disasters that have left nations, and businesses within, reeling to recover from earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods. However, according to the 2012 survey, it appears that the high cost of prolonged downtime has never been fully considered by business and IT managers – not until they experience a disaster themselves. 55% of the disaster recovery measure have been put into place after a catastrophic data loss has woken up the business to the danger.

A disaster recovery plan is something businesses should be taking much more seriously – having implemented before the disaster strikes! Bluheeler is leading the way with world-class continuity services, learn more at bluheeler.com/continuity.

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