A natural disaster like a flood is no match for the cloud.

For businesses without data recovery plan, the price can be steep

Stephen Perkins

In an instant, a server can go down. While the ways it can happen differ – from flooding to IT staff error to a malicious incursion – the end result is always the same: For companies without a strong data backup online, data loss means lost business.

New data points to vitality of disaster recovery and the cost of not having a plan 
A recent industry infographic shed new light on the devastation that server downtime can wreak on a company. According to the chart, the average instance of unexpected downtime ends up costing companies $7,900 per minute. If one considers that the average duration of a downtime event is 90 minutes, that's a total of $711,000 per downtime incident. It would be nice to think that such costs are only accrued by the occasional unprepared enterprise, but that is not the case. Within the past two years, 91 percent of data centers have been subject to a period of unplanned downtime. 

When this happens to a company that does not have a data protection strategy in place, the costs add up quickly. That is because there are not only direct recovery costs involved, but also the risk of widespread indirect repercussions. Customer trust, for instance, is almost certain to be damaged in the event of an unplanned outage. This loss of trust can lead to patrons taking their business elsewhere, not willing to take a gamble on a seemingly unprepared company. Other consequences include significant lost time among workers, since employees are not able to complete company tasks when the server is down. This loss of employee productivity can result in deadlines for projects having to be pushed back. 

Instances of loss particularly problematic for small and medium sized businesses
Not surprisingly, when server downtime occurs, it's usually the little guys that bear the brunt of the impact. While bigger corporations are generally well equipped with the kind of data recovery plan to quickly bounce back from a downtime incident, many SMBs are not similarly prepared. According to statistics cited by Spanning, there are 23 million small businesses in the country. Of these, more than 5 million have experienced a major information loss. Of those 5 million, the majority – 3.54 million – are ultimately forced to close their doors. That means that roughly 15 percent of small businesses are forced to close as a direct result of not having a strong enough IT system. Such a statistic should send any SMB searching for a disaster recovery plan, but as of now, more than 40 percent of small businesses don't even have a dedicated IT staff, making it exceedingly difficult to enact a backup strategy.

A solution for businesses of all sizes lies in cloud backup
Fortunately for SMBs, there is an answer to the threat posed by server downtime. That answer is the cloud, which has a system of defense that data centers could never lay claim to. Unlike a physical storage platform, the cloud's virtual positioning enables it to always be available. That is the reason so many companies from every imaginable industrial sector are taking steps to have a firm online data backup system in place. These systems not only provide security – they actively help to save businesses. That was the case for Colorado's Greystone Technology Group, which was able to maintain operations even during a devastating flood due to its use of a cloud backup, according to Talkin' Cloud. 

Peter Melby, the company's president, said the cloud enabled it to remain afloat even as the physical business was partially underwater. This cloud backup enabled Greystone to do the most important thing a business can do in a disaster scenario: Keep its customers happy. 

Categories: Cloud Backup, Data Protection, Disaster Recovery