Backup vs. Business Continuity: What’s the Difference?
Backing up your data is essential for your business, and it answers the questions: Is my information safe? Can I get my data back in case of a system failure? Everyone needs to have a backup solution in place, especially today when ransomware threatens businesses everywhere.
But, businesses need to take their backup a step further by having a business continuity plan in place. Business continuity involves thinking about your business at a higher level, and asks: how quickly can I get my business up and running again in case of a system failure?
See the difference?
Knowing you that need to backup your data is an excellent first step, but knowing that you must have a plan in place to get your data back and restored before your business suffers is the difference between a business flourishing and going out of business.
The Importance of Business Continuity
Take the following example found in our Data Backup vs. Business Continuity white paper. If your server dies—and remember, hardware failure is the No. 1 cause of lost data—you wouldn’t be able to quickly get back to work if you only had a file-level backup. For you to start working again, your server would need to be replaced, all software re-installed, data re-installed, and then the whole system would need to be configured with your settings and preferences. This process could take hours or even days—and in the meantime, your users can’t get their jobs done.
Only backing up your data is not going to get your business back up and running. No, it’s going to take a proper business continuity plan in place to make sure your company is prepared for a complete system failure.
Now, imagine that your business did experience a system failure, and all your data has been lost. Undoubtedly, costing your company a significant amount of employee downtime.
Across all businesses, it’s a staggering $163,674 per hour, according to research by the Aberdeen Group. Of course, the exact cost depended on company size:
- Small companies lose approximately $8,581 per hour.
- Medium companies $215,638 per hour.
- Large enterprises a whopping $686,250 or more for every hour of downtime.
So what happens when disaster strikes? Businesses must scramble. And the clock is ticking while they attempt to retrieve essential data. According to IDC, it takes, on average, seven hours to resume normal operations after a data loss incident, with 18 percent of IT managers saying that it takes 11 to 24 hours, or even longer.
No wonder that nearly 40% of all businesses close their doors permanently after a disaster strikes, and another 25% fail within a year (according to FEMA).
Some other factors businesses should consider, in the event of a disaster, are:
- Where will employees work if the primary workplace is unavailable?
- How will employees connect to the restored computing environment after service is restored?
- What training is required to help staff execute the business continuity plan quickly and efficiently?
Such factors are why it is vital for a business to partner with an IT company that can help your business initiate an effective business continuity plan.
Want to learn more about putting a business continuity plan in place?