As any frequent flyer knows, sooner or later, IT systems break down—and as they say, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Back in 2016, Delta Air Lines suffered a major IT system outage resulting in 2,000 flight cancellations over a three-day period. As IT-related travel disasters become increasingly more common, airline companies are potentially liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars while travelers risk losing valuable time and money. That 2016 incident not only cost Delta over $100 million in revenue and lost business, it damaged their overall reputation as well. The irony is that for Delta, and many other IT infrastructure failures, the outages and damages were preventable.
IT disasters are a fact of life; they will occur if they haven’t already—and they are expensive! Over half of the companies in business today have experienced at least one downtime event in the last five years that lasted a full work day (only 2% recovered in less than an hour). And those outages typically cost them $20K per day, with more than a quarter reporting that a day of downtime cost them over $100K!
In order to keep these incidents from seriously impacting your business, it is paramount to have a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy. Getting started on this plan, however, may seem daunting. You may wonder, what exactly constitutes a disaster? Generally, this is any event that impairs your day-to-day business. Whether it’s a simple power outage or an act of terrorism, having a plan for these occurrences means that your business will be able to keep running smoothly. For those companies with no disaster recovery strategy, it’s time to start the planning phase. And although many companies already have some form of disaster recovery plan in place, there are several signs that can indicate whether your current plan is all that it should be.
Here are five signs that your disaster recovery plan may need some improvement.
- You haven’t considered recovery time - What are the consequences of not getting your organization’s functions back up and running quickly? It’s essential to both consider and prepare for the length of time it may take your business to recover from a disaster.
- You aren’t sure about your Recovery Point Objective - How frequent are your backups? Make sure your business doesn’t lose days or weeks of data when the system goes down. Always keep the Business Continuity Plan in mind.
- You’re constantly running behind on projects - If your staff is constantly behind on their day-to-day projects, they are most likely not dedicating enough time to disaster recovery planning. This can be highly detrimental when a disaster does occur. Therefore, dedicating personnel to make sure disaster planning actually happens is crucial.
- You don’t have secure planning documents - What good is a disaster recovery plan if you and your staff can’t access it when the system goes down? Make sure that your planning documents and guides are accessible by all relevant staff members in the event of either a network or human error.
- You don’t regularly test your plan - Similar to fire drills, your plan is only as good as your organization’s familiarity with it. Make sure that you’re able to log in and keep your applications running properly, and that your staff is trained and prepared as well.
If there is a positive to the recent Delta debacle, it’s that high-profile incidents such as these have motivated many companies to examine their own disaster recovery plans. A recent Spiceworks Poll indicated that high profile IT fiascos are causing a majority of organizations to take measures to prevent their own IT systems from failing. In reply to the question, “what actions is your IT department considering to help prevent unforeseen failures/disruptions of IT services?”, the leading response from companies was to improve disaster response policies and procedures, including more comprehensive plans and practicing likely ‘what-if’ scenarios.
Running a profitable business can be much more difficult than driving a car. And it’s time to acknowledge that inadequately managing your own technology can be just as much a liability as texting from behind the wheel. CimaCare Managed Services will proactively manage your organization’s technology so you can stay focused on driving your business up the path to increased revenue. Learn more about Cima Solutions Group and see how our Managed IT Services offering can help your business with a Disaster Recovery Plan.