Merriam Webster defines a disaster as a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss or great misfortune. In IT disasters can fall into one of three categories, lost or deleted files or emails, hardware or software failure, or a natural disaster. The three disasters vary in severity but all can impact your business continuity. Some of the costs associated with the different types of disasters are, time, money, reputation, employee retention, and client relationships. For instance if you have a file saved for a client and mistakenly delete it, what would that cost? Well, first it would cost you the time spent looking for the file, and then potentially the time putting together the same file over again. It may hurt your reputation with this particular client, as they now think of you as disorganized and unreliable. In turn that will hurt your relationship with the client, and in the end may cost you a client. Downtime is expensive for small to medium sized businesses, on average it costs $12,500 per day, and depending on size and industry, it can cost companies millions of dollars per day. If your company is not disaster prepared your employees may start to become upset as they are missing deadlines as well as being forced to work harder rather than smarter. Your IT system is critical to your business, 43% of businesses never reopen after major loss of business data, and another 29% close within two years following a disaster. Your disaster preparedness should not be limited to how your business will recover, but you also need to plan how you will handle the business of your clients. Downtime on average impacts clients of the down company $10,000 per day, and 54% of companies have switched vendors due to their vendor being down. Those statistics show that, having a reliable and disaster prepared system is critical to keeping your current clients happy.
Although the numbers do seem a bit alarming, there are ways to keep downtime to a very minimum, or even prevent it completely.