Each organization has a different definition for how they define a disaster. One business might feel that they can get away with losing a few files here and there, while another might need every file to be secure and protected against data loss. Regardless, the importance of being able to define the severity of a disaster cannot be underestimated, as you will need to properly gauge just how much hot water your business has landed in before it can pull itself up by the bootstraps and push forward.
Two factors are typically used to define just how bad a disaster is. The first is how much it costs to resolve the issue. This can include all sorts of costs associated with data loss, including hardware replacement costs and infrastructure damages. The second factor is the overall loss of productivity. This second factor ties into how much downtime your business experiences due to a data loss incident.
Determining the total cost of a disaster incident is critical, and it’s the only way that you can know for sure just how much work you’ll have on your hands just to get back into a bearable position. Depending on the type of disaster experienced, you could have a considerable amount of damage that needs to be repaired. For example, a hardware failure is perhaps the least costly incident. Of course, a hardware failure shouldn’t be underestimated, because it still means that you have to replace a server unit or workstation, as well as pay the employee working with that technology (or your whole organization, for that matter) for the time wasted while waiting to get back in business.
Other disasters can have far-reaching repercussions that drastically affect your organization’s ability to recover. A flood or similar natural disaster could destroy both your data infrastructure and physical infrastructure, including your office space. How much would it cost you to relocate an entire workforce? What about repairs to the building and/or renting a new one? All of these expenses hitting you at once is enough to crush even the most conservative budget--at least, if you’re unprepared for them, anyway.
If data security enters into the picture, you can bet that the costs of resolving the incident can increase exponentially. Depending on the type of information stolen, you could either have stolen credit card numbers, identities, and even health records. In the fallout of a data breach, you might be subject to fines due to regulations like HIPAA that could add insult to injury. Furthermore, you have your reputation to worry about. Will anyone be willing to work with your organization again if you’re negligent with important information? That’s a question that you never want to ask.
Downtime is another major factor for determining how bad a disaster is. Downtime can be defined as anytime your business doesn’t operate as intended. It can be something as simple as an employee not being able to access a critical account, or it could be something as sudden and impossible to avoid as one of the aforementioned disaster scenarios. What it boils down to is that your business loses money when it’s not being productive, so you should do everything in your power to keep this from happening.
Ashton Technology Solutions can equip your business with an enterprise-level data backup and disaster recovery solution, as well as a business continuity plan that can help your business survive even the most disastrous scenarios. To learn more, reach out to us at 216-397-4080.