5 Extraordinary Benefits of Business Continuity
The benefits of business continuity
Our businesses run on data. When we find ourselves without it, even for a short time, we cannot function. And in today’s competitive marketplace, any downtime does serious damage to revenues, to returns, to relationships. That’s why we must have business continuity. Without it, we are vulnerable. Disasters happen. Servers go down. The benefits of business continuity are vast. Backing up data is not a real solution. When we invest in business continuity, we can be assured that our data is there when and where we need it. Yes, backup is a cheaper solution for retaining data, but there is a reason for this. In the event of a loss, businesses lose much more than data. They lose trust. They lose customers. They lose money. They often lose their entire companies. Backup is an antiquated and broken technology that served us as well as it could when there were no other options, but does not meet the needs of businesses today.
What’s the difference between continuity and backup?
Backup is a subset of business continuity. It’s just not a very effective one. Backup involves periodically saving a backup version of data that you can recover after data on your primary servers has been lost. The recovery team engages in a lengthy and often chaotic process as they work to restore business function.
Business continuity as a whole is a more complete solution that involves storing data in two or more places at once. In the event of a data failure in one location, business operations are automatically transitioned to the other data warehouse with little to no downtime. So, without further ado, here are the five benefits of business continuity.
1) No complex recovery
Recovering backup data post-disaster is a complex and time intensive ordeal. You must identify what the most critical business data is and restore it first. And then work down through the backup until all data is restored. And to make matters worse, often you don’t find out that certain critical data was not being backed up up or has otherwise been lost until you actually need to recover it. At which time there is no possibility of recovery. Continuity, on the other hand, is fully automated. When one source goes down, the other takes over, often without employees even being aware that a change has taken place.
2) Data accessible during the disaster
During a disaster, you need to be able to continue to care for your customers. With continuity, even if your building and primary server are “under water”, business can continue as usual through remote employees, sister offices or alternate job sites. Unlike a backup which can only be recovered after the event has passed, with business continuity, the alternate source of data is immediately accessible.
3) You don’t miss a beat
- 60% of businesses that lose data shutter after just 6 months.
- Many more are shut down with in 2 years.
- 93% of business who lose access to data for greater than 10 days go bankrupt.
- In the event of a loss, the cost of recovering one drive can exceed $7500 and often data is not recoverable.
These stats are startling, but true. Businesses cannot afford downtime. And with a backup, it takes time to recover what has been lost — commonly much greater than 10 days. Yet another of the benefits of business continuity is no downtime. You simply cannot afford it.
4) Focus on business function; not just data
Backup is a very narrow solution. It focuses on retaining data. But it disregards what business needs to continue. And it underestimates the damage caused by an inability to function during or immediately following a data loss event. Business continuity is a comprehensive business solution that focuses on what businesses really need to stay viable.
5) Perception of stability
This is a big one. Perception is reality, as they say. While customers, venders and other stakeholders in your company may claim to “understand” when systems go down, they are still developing a perception that you
- Don’t plan well for the future
- Don’t know how to meet customer needs
- Are not taking advantage of more advanced technologies that would allow you to function in more seamless way.
With business continuity, you convey strength and stability. You earn the trust of those who depend on you. In a competitive marketplace we cannot afford to portray ourselves any other way. Make sure you have a continuity plan in place for your business.