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Time to Focus on DR
When critical information or communication systems are not working properly, it is much more than just an inconvenience for an organization. The following can and may happen which can be detrimental to any business:
Weakened customer trust
Missing or corrupted
digital records or legal
Decrease in productivity
These can all happen during natural disasters as we have seen frequently during the past year, but also business as usual has forever changed with the pandemic of 2020. Business critical systems may shut down or be unavailable for any period of time which can have devastating cost effects to any business. In addition, there is an increased need for new business practices relating to remote workers, unavailable tape backups, etc. It is vital to the well-being of any organization to have a solid disaster recovery plan. Although, even with all of the disruptions during this year, it still appears that many CIOs are not readying their companies for the next disastrous event. The need for business critical and customer-facing systems to be ready for whatever may happen now and in the future needs to be addressed in any IT plan.
Organizations need to consider the impact and cost of downtime when preparing for any type of disaster. Unexpected IT outages can have both direct consequences both short and long term. These direct losses can involve:
- Lost sales revenue
- Lost employee productivity due to malfunctioning systems or Internet (think in terms of salaries and benefits)
- Potential employee overtime costs to meet deadlines following a period of disruption
- IT recovery costs
- Cost of restoring IT systems (some data may be forever lost)
- Supply chain ripple effects
- Where applicable, compliance violations or materials lost
While this list may in no way be exhaustive, it begins to demonstrate the reasons why downtime can be so devastating. It is also important to remember that there are also other intangible effects that may be harder to quantify with a dollar amount. These include:
- Customer dissatisfaction
- Low employee morale or turnover due to stress/consequences of downtime
- Brand/loyalty damage
According to a survey done by The Ponemon Institute:
The average downtime across
industries costs a company $5,600
The average reported incident length
was 90 minutes, resulting in an
average cost per incident of
For a total data center outage, which
had an average recovery time of 134
minutes, average costs were
For a partial data center outage,
which averaged 59 minutes in
length, average costs were
No matter what the cause, downtime impacts more than just day to day operations. Some operations may survive some data loss, but others are dependent on data sharing, or are required to archive information to meet strict audit, regulatory and compliance requirements. It is important to remember that businesses that have a global workforce that collaborate around the clock, or provide services 24/7, also cannot afford any type of data loss.
It is inevitable that everyone may experience a system failure, outage or complete site disaster at some point during their career. Organizations may have a full or partial DR plan in place, but it really needs to be addressed as to whether that plan can recover critical applications and data in a timely manner in order to meet corporate business continuity requirements as well as customer expectations? Now is the right time to review priorities and be sure that there is the right plan in place to meet any business needs.
Be sure to check back next week for the final piece on preparing your DR for 2021.