The cutthroat business landscape has forced millions of companies in the United States to fight tooth and nail to establish their authority. There is no room for error if they are to grab a frontrunner’s seat in their niche.   

However, it’s not always business as usual. 

As much as every entrepreneur wishes their operations would run seamlessly all year round, this is often not the case. Human blunders, cyber-attacks, communication failures, system downtimes, and natural catastrophes are excellent examples of workplace interruptions that can bring a business to its knees.

Take Meta, for example:

In 2021, the social media giant experienced a 7-hour outage due to routine maintenance tasks that quickly went south.

Sony also fell victim to cybersecurity attacks twice, disrupting business operations in 2011 and 2014.

And these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Twitter, Google, Amazon, and Alibaba are other international companies that have experienced such disruptions, which shows that no company – big or small – is disaster-proof. 

So, does this mean that small business owners should fall into despair?

Not at all!

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning is your first line of defense against such catastrophes, helping your business build resilience and maintain momentum even under duress.

What is disaster recovery and business continuity planning?

Disaster recovery planning outlines in detail the structured approach a business will implement in response to cyber vulnerabilities, acts of terror, human errors, and natural disasters. It’s meant to help companies mitigate data losses and ensure systems are up and running – even if they operate on low efficiency.

On the other hand, business continuity planning is a comprehensive approach that outlines the business’s actions and contingency plans after being hit by such disasters. It strongly emphasizes how the entire organization’s operations will move forward and does not just focus on the affected systems. 

The importance of disaster recovery and business continuity planning

A solid disaster recovery and business continuity plan is vital for businesses – both small and large.

Denver managed IT services can help with the following:

1. Prepare for potential disruptions

No company, no matter the number of innovative technologies they adopt, is immune to disruption.

A simple click on the ‘reply all’ button for emails intended to be confidential is a potential vulnerability. The same applies to an employee unwarily clicking on a malicious email link – a ‘simple’ error that may put a company at the mercy of cybercriminals.

Since a disaster recovery plan contains an impact assessment, steps that reduce exposure, and mitigation guidelines, you will be well-armed to handle disruptions that are likely to occur in the future.

2. Continued operations

Among the actions in the plan are steps to lessen the disaster’s impact and get the company to resume operations within the shortest time.

For instance, some companies will have a cold site where business operations can move until a return to normalcy. Others will partner with a DRaas provider who will guide them in moving operations to a cloud infrastructure, allowing business processes to run almost as they were before the calamity. 

3. Minimizes downtime costs

Planned and unplanned attacks can cripple an organization and cause substantial financial losses.

In a 2020 ITIC survey, 98% of the firms interviewed agreed that downtime costs more than $150,000 per hour, while 40% said these figures go beyond the $1,000,000 mark!

Such losses result from a dip in production capacity and service delivery. The affected companies will also need to pay employees for time spent lazying around waiting for the systems to come back up.

Remember Meta’s outage that was mentioned earlier on? Fortune estimates that the incident cost the company approximately $100 million in revenues.

That’s a whole lot of money!

Luckily, a well-crafted plan minimizes such losses, as it allows a company to recover vital data fast and get fundamental systems up and running sooner rather than later. 

4. Protect against reputational damage

Brand reputation can make or break your business. In fact, WebFX reports that approximately 25% of market value comes directly from a company’s reputation. 

Unfortunately, not all disruptions will be confined within the office walls. Some unexpected outages and disasters will happen right in front of your target consumers, vendors, and partners. As a result, you will helplessly watch as your brand weakens and damages its reputation.

The adversity of reputational damages will depend on various factors, including how the organization handles the matter. Many large companies will survive such hits, but they will not go unscathed as expected.

Small businesses, on the other hand, are prone to more devastating consequences. Techradar says over a third of all small and medium businesses lose customers after experiencing downtime, which is a big blow to their overall bottom line. If they are lucky not to shut down operations, they may need to rebrand.

Considering that a disaster recovery and business continuity plan provides you with the armor you need to handle such outages effectively, creating one goes a long way toward maintaining consumer love and trust for your brand.

5. It helps improve IT compliance

A disaster recovery plan is more than just a solution to minimize cyber threats or keep business operations running. It’s a great strategy to ensure IT compliance.

But how? 

For starters, the organization will need to implement secure data backup solutions that guarantee the safety of sensitive customer information. It will also account for all potential threats that may affect the business. Besides, the organization must comply with all relevant regulations, depending on its industry.

Resilient: Take your company’s business resilience to the next level

Much research and details go into creating a disaster recovery and business continuity plan, a reason you should never overlook it.

Resilient is a managed IT service provider specializing in IT support. We can help you build an actionable and well-thought-out disaster plan to keep the ball rolling even in the face of calamity. We will customize it accordingly, ensuring you achieve near-perfect uptimes and that it addresses vulnerabilities that your business is most susceptible to. 

Reach out today for more information.