Consider the following statistics taken from the Disaster Recovery Journal (Winter 2011):
• A single incident of data loss can cost a company an average of $10,000.00
• 93 percent of companies that lost their data for 10 days or more, filed for bankruptcy within a year.
• 40 percent of businesses that suffer a loss of data, fail within 5 years.
And while most companies and organizations have taken Disaster Recovery seriously, they often fail to take a proper BIA or Business Impact Analysis and properly test their plan for appropriateness; often resulting in losses.
A BIA or a Business Impact Analysis is exactly what it sounds like; proper research to determine what the business impact would be if an application, website, database, HR document, etc… were not available for given sets of time. Perhaps if a database were not available for an hour there would be little impact, but if it were down for a day, it would be critical. It is important to do an accurate study to determine where those pain points are for all aspects of your organization and review them regularly for changes in criticality. While this sounds like the absolute foundation for all DR plans (and it is) I have regularly encountered both government and private industry that fail to do this most basic step. They either consider everything to be critical (it isn’t) or they only backup a few servers that they think contain their most important documents/data. Neither of these plans accomplishes suitable DR.