At the Core
13 May 15

‘Tis The (Hurricane) Season: Calculating The Cost Of The Downtime That Lies Ahead

It's always important to be aware of the disaster scenarios that may potentially lie ahead for your business, but that's especially the case during certain times of year when the likelihood for disaster goes sky high. For example, as we head into the late spring, it's time to start thinking about the threat a hurricane can pose to your business.

"It's time to start thinking about the threat a hurricane can pose to your business."

Chances are, you already have protections in place for the event of a big storm that might threaten your business and its data. You have a cloud backup system for storing your important files, and a disaster recovery blueprint that will help you get those files back and keep your operations up to speed. But that doesn't mean you're 100 percent protected, necessarily – you still have to think about downtime and the impact it might have on your business.

Are you ready for hurricane season 2015? Moreover, are you fully aware of the costs you might encounter if a storm hits you?

Hurricane season is here
Let's start with the basic facts. First of all, we can definitively say that hurricane season is already upon us. According to the Los Angeles Times, the season got an early start this year when the first Atlantic tropical storm made its move May 10 on the Carolinas.

Tropical Storm Ana, as it's been dubbed, was centered about 85 miles southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and its winds reached as high as 60 miles per hour. The National Hurricane Center told the Times that this means hurricane season this year has begun three weeks early.

South Carolina is already on notice for this year's hurricanes.South Carolina is already on notice for this year's hurricanes.

The names for the upcoming storms after Ana have already been picked out – Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred and Grace are next on the list. Any one of these storms could be headed toward you or your business. Will you be ready?

Calculating the cost of downtime
Once you're aware that a hurricane is a serious threat to your business, you should be armed with the knowledge that downtime can be a financial blow to your operations. According to Computerworld, it's important to prepare for this in advance. Kevin Roden, executive vice president and CIO at Iron Mountain, told the news source that companies should be willing to do that legwork.

"Define what you're protecting," Roden advised. "Identify the core competency of your business and define what supporting IT elements must be protected to support it. This is the heart of what your business does, your competitive advantage in the marketplace."

You should know the cost of having your data go down. According to an Evolven blog, a good formula is "(GR / TH) x I x H" – in other words, take your company's gross revenue, divide by your total hours in business, then multiply by the percentage of your business and the total hours of your outage. All told, that's your hourly rate of earning potential lost. Those dollars and cents can add up fast.

The value of a reliable partner
Given the steep cost of enduring downtime, there should be no debate – it's extremely valuable to have a cloud backup partner you can trust to get you through any disaster without the fear of prolonged outages.

With Virtacore, you're in luck – in 2014, Virtacore was one of the few providers out there with zero downtime. This means you can rest easy, knowing your data will stay safe and your company will still be profitable.

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