You don’t get to be a CEO without taking some chances, but there is a difference between taking on risk in search of an outsized reward and taking on unnecessary, avoidable risks. In an era when so much of business depends on data, the proactive CEO values a solid business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan. Unfortunately, the necessity of BCDR is not apparent to everyone.
To help you justify the investment, here are four critical reasons that you, the CEO, should care about business continuity and disaster recovery:
Downtime is expensive
If your employees lose access to business-critical applications and data, there is a direct impact on productivity and revenue. While this sounds obvious, many organizations do not consider the total cost of downtime.
Modern BCDR products can quickly launch a virtual instance of an application and all its data on a virtual server hosted within the backup environment. This lets users continue operations while primary application servers are restored. Choosing a BCDR solution that minimizes downtime makes good business sense.
Backup alone is not enough
Backup and business continuity are not the same. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business today that doesn’t conduct some form of data backup. But what happens if a flood wipes out your primary and backup servers? You need to know the systems your business relies on will continue to operate, no matter what. Sending a copy of data offsite for disaster recovery is one way to ensure business continuity. Historically, this meant sending tapes to a secondary location or tape vault.
Today, BCDR solutions can run applications from backup instances of virtual servers. The ability to run applications in the cloud while onsite infrastructure is restored is a game-changer for disaster recovery. As CEO, you don’t want yesterday’s backup technology.
Disasters take many forms
Not every disaster is broadcast on news and weather channels. Most IT downtime is a result of common, accidental (or malicious) data deletion, damage to computer hardware, or poor security habits. A ransomware attack or virus can halt operations just as easily as a tornado or a power surge. These “lowercased” disasters are typically a result of human error, which is unpreventable.
Having technology in place that allows your business to continue operations following these man-made disasters is equally, if not more important than protecting against a hurricane that may or may not strike your business.
Ensuring access to applications and data following a disaster is just one piece of the BCDR puzzle. Evaluating your business’s ability to restore IT operations can be a good starting point for company-wide business continuity efforts, but good BCDR planning should look at the business as a whole, and the goal should be to develop business resilience, in addition to cyber resilience.
Many any BCDR planning efforts start by conducting a business impact analysis or risk assessment — these studies can reveal weaknesses in your business’s ability to continue operations that go far beyond IT. You know a disaster (natural or otherwise) will be coming to your company at some point. When it does, you want to be as well-prepared as possible.
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