At the Core
6 January 15

Always Be Prepared: Why Your Business Must Gear Up For Data Disaster

In 2015, it's now quite clear that cloud solutions can benefit businesses large and small – especially those that are tasked with managing a great deal of customer data. If your organization thrives on collecting information from consumers and allowing them to access and curate it remotely, the cloud is the choice for you.

But if disaster strikes and that data is no longer accessible – either for your business, its employees or both – you'll need to take action. Say a thunderstorm hits, your server crashes and suddenly your data is gone. What happens next? How will your business stay afloat?

"You can't be scrambling to think of a solution on the spot. It needs to be ready to go at a moment's notice."

You need to take fast action, which means it's vital to have a disaster recovery plan established in advance. You can't be scrambling to think of a solution on the spot. It needs to be ready to go at a moment's notice.

To understand just how important a disaster recovery plan is for your business, it's best to first look at what kinds of damages can result when such a plan isn't in place. Once you fully grasp the stakes, you'll know there's no other option but to prepare yourself.

Losses in the nine figures
For a comprehensive look at just how much money companies are losing due to their disaster recovery struggles, it's beneficial to look at recent survey data from EVault. The organization found that collectively, the United States loses $400 million annually because of shortcomings in data protection.

"As we peeled away the layers on this research, a troubling picture emerged – the level of data loss is huge, and only a few organizations are employing data protection best practices," said Terry Cunningham, president and general manager of EVault.

Data loss is everywhere, and it's preventable. Companies must be willing to spend a little money on disaster recovery, lest they lose far, far more to the disasters themselves.

Data loss and downtime are culprits
Of course, when a business suffers a disaster that affects its cloud data, the lost data itself is the primary issue. Important customer information, trade secrets and internal operational data may all be lost, which can seriously affect the productivity of a business. But another issue is the downtime. When data goes missing, companies must spend a great deal of time recovering it – which means wasting time that could be spent doing more worthwhile things, as Peter Smails, senior director of Product Marketing at EMC Core Technologies, explained in an InfoStor news story.

IT downtime can be frustrating for everyone.

"Clearly, data loss and down time is materially having an impact on organizations," Smails said. "The number of incidents for data loss are going down, but the volume of data at risk and the costs to bounce back from an incident are rising."

Customer data is at risk
There's also the issue of how cloud data loss affects customers. Imagine you're a patron of a major online retailer like an Amazon or an eBay, and the site crashes and your data is lost. This would be a major blow to your customer experience, and you'd likely take your shopping business elsewhere. On the business side, you have to think about this. What happens if your customers lose faith in you?

This is a very real threat to businesses everywhere. Lost cloud data can be seriously harmful to a business' reputation, which is just one more reason why it's imperative to take action. When disaster strikes, your business absolutely needs to be ready.

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