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Failover Plan Considerations, and Distinguishing Data Loss from Downtime 

In today’s technology-dependent business world, when access to data and software is interrupted, whether by a temporary power outage or a full-scale disaster, the ability to conduct business is, too. In an age where data is king, the idea that it can be lost so easily should be enough to encourage businesses to take steps to protect it.

This leads us a sobering statistic. The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council’s 2014 Annual Report found that nearly three out of four companies they surveyed failed from a disaster recovery preparedness standpoint. This benchmark survey found that these businesses:

  • Lost one or more of their mission critical software applications.
  • Lost one or more of their virtual machines.
  • Lost critical files.
  • Experienced days of datacenter downtime.

Data loss has very real financial implications. The same benchmark study found that 20 percent of companies surveyed had suffered $50,000 to $5 million in downtime losses. The toxic combination of lost productivity and low employee morale, unrecoverable digital assets, and low consumer confidence can cost thousands of dollars.

More than half of companies that suffer from catastrophic data loss as a result of a natural disaster will eventually close. They simply cannot recover the lost assets, which may include customer data, onsite financial documents, application files or other critical information. And if a business cannot be brought back to normal operations in a little over a week, the chances for survival plummet.

Organizations can mitigate this risk by having a business continuity plan in place well before the imminent threat of a disaster. Business continuity, above all things, is something that should work when you need it to. Working with an IT solutions or business technology consulting firm to design a fool-proof solution against data loss is highly advisable.

The bare minimum requirement of any disaster recovery plan is the replication of data to an offsite location. Further, in order to preserve and maintain the vitality of a business after a major natural disaster, executive management must also have plans in place to operate – even if data is temporarily unavailable.

The good news? Advancements like cloud computing are changing the way mission-critical information is stored and accessed, providing a real “win” for business continuity in terms of both efficiency and cost. Now companies of all sizes can enjoy uninterrupted (or nearly uninterrupted) technology-reliant functions – provided they have a well-crafted business continuity plan in place.