How Much Data Can You Afford to Lose?
Managing your data can be the difference between a thriving or dying business. When a disaster strikes your business, it could be your worst nightmare. Business continuity is the ability to keep daily operations running even in the midst of a natural, man-made or technical disaster. There are four primary assets needed to effectively operate an information system: physical location, hardware, network, and of course, data. When a disaster happens, your physical location can be moved and your hardware and networks can be replaced easily. In fact, with the exception of data, almost every company asset can be replaced. Meaning, your top priority should be to protect your data since it’s the hardest to replace and most at risk.
Data loss can result from any number of factors:
- Natural disaster (ex:earthquake or hurricane)
- Fire, smoke, or water damage
- Faulty hardware
- User error
- Being a victim of hacking
- Security breaches
- Power outages
Regardless of the cause, there is a cost and consequence to having any downtime in your business. You need to ask yourself how much time and data you can afford to lose? Every organization should have a business continuity plan. First, you have to have a baseline for a recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). Businesses need to strike a balance between the level of business risk they can tolerate and the expense they will pay for perfect security, if there is such a thing. Most businesses would say they can’t afford to lose any data and they can’t tolerate any downtime. It’s unlikely that all applications are equally mission-critical and all systems are equally vital, so its not in your best interest to pay more than what your RTO and RPO require.
Once you understand how much time and data you can afford to lose without crippling your business, you need to find a backup and disaster recovery solution that can achieve both. The solution you choose needs to have continuous backup, automatic off-site storage, immediate recovery, and the guarantee of recovery and backup of the data. Backup and recovery software vendors will have RTO and RPO ranges within their service-level agreements, so it is important to make sure the solution you select also matches your goals. Establishing a business continuity plan that incorporates RTO and RPO is critical for your business. Devoting attention to RTO and RPO is the only way to guarantee your organization will still be able to operate in the event of a disaster. Having an effective business continuity plan can give your business a competitive edge, protect your shareholders and customers, and give you peace of mind.
Gartner Inc. research found that 93% of organizations that have experienced a significant data loss are out of business within five years. The only way to protect your business is to have an effective business continuity plan that not only your organization is on board with, but that your IT Consultant is also on board with. Having your IT support and your organization both on the same page and both having copies of the plan, can ensure no time is wasted in the event of a disaster. If you need help with either your business continuity plan or the selection of your backup and disaster recovery solution, 2W Tech is an IT Consultant that specializes in this technology.
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