The tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March 2011 left 3.46 million people stranded due to the failure of transportation systems. The Queensland floods of January 2011 resulted in three-quarters of the state being declared a disaster zone. Brisbane, the state’s business powerhouse, was stopped in its tracks with the entire CBD closed down for several days; but many businesses’ suffered without power for up to three months. The widespread Queensland flooding re-occurred again in January 2013 causing massive social and economic impact.
The Victorian Black Saturday bushfires brought the structure of the state to its knees in February 2009 when as many as 400 individual fires were recorded. On 22 February 2011, disaster struck Christchurch in the form of an earthquake that debilitated the majority of the CBD and brought thousands of homes and business to a standstill.
In a perfect world, every accounting system you use, every document, every business contact and every file would be a click away. As we’ve learned in recent months, having the right disaster recovery solution is crucial – disaster can strike at any time, disrupting your business in unexpected ways. But, the cost of a natural disaster for many businesses is just too high to recover from, with an alarming amount clearly unable to continue operating.
Ninety-three per cent of companies that lost their data for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster and 50% filed for bankruptcy immediately.
Many small companies may have moved to the cloud for reasons of cost saving, access or flexibility (the cloud is a new way to run applications, store data, maintain contacts and perform accounting online) but the concept of the cloud as a disaster recovery solution now seems inevitable, as premises-based systems become ever more vulnerable.
It could be said that many companies are now changing their disaster recovery thinking because they figure rationally that the cloud will continue to operate no matter what happens to the physical building or computers. An Aberdeen Group study showed that disaster recovery happened at least four times quicker for businesses that used the cloud.
Elasticity, scalability, rapid provisioning and cost effective resource use are just some of the benefits of cloud computing. However, for disaster recovery, the most important benefit is that it promises to provide unimpeded ‘business as usual’. Every business should implement and test its own comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
Gartner estimates that only 35% of SMEs have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place…
Excerpted from an article originally published in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine. If you are a subscriber to Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine, you will receive this article in your Nov/Dec 2013 issue of TGR. If you are not a subscriber, click here to subscribe.