As with most of life’s difficulties, prevention is better than cure. Where prevention has failed, insurance may or may not help to overcome the problem.
In the commercial world, these considerations are largely known as business continuity and disaster recovery. Business continuity planning reduces your company’s risk of having to tackle threats, while disaster recovery planning ensures your company is better-placed to recover from an incident should it occur. Both terms apply to different elements of business such as personnel and contact centre communications but the biggest focus – and threat – is to technology.
All businesses today are heavily reliant on technology. Even the smallest, most personal businesses rely on customer data and e-mails but for most businesses, technology lies at the very core of every move they make, from production to marketing and from human resources to operations. Stop for a moment to reflect on your business: how dependent are you on customer records, internet access, internal and external communications, your website, intranet and extranet...?
According to Gartner Group, a mere six per cent of all companies survive a major loss of computer records: 43 per cent are forced to close their doors immediately and another 51 per cent fail within two years.
Gartner also calculates that 50 per cent of all tape back-ups fail to restore when they’re needed.
What are the likely causes of loss of data and systems? They could be man-made (deliberate sabotage or error) or ‘natural’ disasters. Consider the recent floods, for example. In Somerset alone, the Chamber of Commerce estimated that in the first six weeks of flooding alone the average cost to a small local business which survived was £17,352, while the Federation of Small Businesses calculates the total cost to small firms to be upwards of £830 million.
It is vital to ensure your data is fully backed-up in a safe environment. On-site servers are safer than personal devices such as PCs and tablets but they, too, should be backed up. Relying on individuals to remember to take regular back-ups and keep them securely off site each day is an error-prone, old-fashioned approach. Today, businesses take advantage of remote back-up. It’s simple, cost-effective and secure: your systems and data can be fully backed-up on a timed schedule (for example, every 15 minutes) and held remotely on a secure server.
If your business experiences a potential disaster such as fire, flood, a dangerous virus or significant power loss, we can quickly restore the latest copy of all your data.
What’s more, we can help you get back to work extremely quickly in an alternative location, should your own offices be temporarily out of action.
Remember, even short periods when you suffer data loss or your communication systems are inaccessible can seriously compromise your business, incurring significant costs in terms of lost business, corporate reputation (shareholders and customers) and the time taken to restore systems.
Would you fail to pay your business insurance premiums? Or decide not to insure your house and its contents? Very unlikely. So please, protect your corporate technology. It could save your business.