Business Continuity is a hot topic but should you have a backup or disaster recovery solution for your business? And how do you know when it’s the right time to upgrade?

Have online backup already?

If you’ve got an online backup procedure in place then you’ve joined the majority of companies that take IT downtime seriously enough to start safeguarding your business against it.  There are lots of (unreliable) stats that say your business is not likely to survive if you experience IT downtime, but the fact is that most companies can survive with some level of IT downtime.

So you’re in a position where you have taken the sting out of the tail and opted for a backup solution which means your data is safe. But, you may have grown and be contemplating when you need to move to the next level of security for your business continuity and consider disaster recovery as an alternative. But how do you know whether it’s worth the investment?

When to move to Disaster Recovery

Here are a few questions which can help you to make the decision:

1. How reliant is your business’s operation on your IT systems? If you run a business  in finance, where you need to access information in order to deliver for your clients then your business relies heavily on your IT systems’ availability. This means you should really consider moving from backup to disaster recovery. Equally, some maintenance companies control all jobs through a central workforce management system and therefore can’t function unless this system is available. Disaster Recovery, which will reduce IT downtime then also becomes attractive. If, however, your business can operate for a couple of days, continuing to deliver for clients without your central IT system then chances are a backup solution is just fine for you.

2. How large is your business? Larger businesses will typically have a larger client base and a stronger need to ensure they minimise IT downtime. As much as anything else, not being able to communicate with clients (a larger company typically will have a higher level of invoicing, communication, and service requirements) could damage relationships in a larger company. As a larger company, your clients are likely to also be larger, and they will start to demand some level of confidence within your business continuity plan. Some might even enforce it for compliance reasons, so you may find yourself needing a good Disaster Recovery solution if you are to be able to win new business with such companies. On the flip side, if you are still small and dealing with small customers then compliance is not so much of a driver and a backup solution should suffice.

3. Are you a risk taker? Disaster Recovery is a bit like insurance – a bit of a grudge purchase which you’re relieved to have made if you need it, but you’re secretly gloating if you’ve managed to get by without buying it and without needing it. You should weigh up the risk- if you’re without your full IT capability and therefore at a decreased level of productivity for a week how will this impact your business, employees, clients and your own job security? Is this an experience you are comfortable to go through? Choose the right level of risk for you.

4. What level of IT expertise do you have internally? If your IT department is under pressure or lacks specific disaster recovery expertise then chances are, if a disaster does strike, they may crack under the pressure of recovering your entire IT systems from a backup. It is also likely that your backups are not being tested very regularly and you may be at higher risk of suffering a longer recovery. Disaster Recovery services can be outsourced which alleviates pressure on your internal IT team and offers your business much better protection as one company can specialise in what is a very stressful experience to manage in-house.

Ultimately only you can make the choice of when to move from backup to disaster recovery but by taking a logical and factual approach often you’ll end up with the right answer for your business.

If you’d like to talk through your options then the Plan B team are always here to help. Call us on 08448 707999






Further Reading: Disaster Recovery Options: A guide to cost vs performance


By: Beth Baxter