It’s one of those questions you’ll need to ask yourself when weighing up what disaster recovery solution you decide on – how much does an IT disaster really cost?. It’s possibly one of the crucial factors that will help you put a business case together for the board to justify the cost of your chosen disaster recovery method. Although it can get more complicated that just numbers, if you can’t start by justifying the numbers then you’ll probably not get much further in the board room.

In order to put a figure on the cost of an IT disaster let’s start with the averages based on a company with 100 employees, outlined in the table below. These figures show the typical downtime, and cost of downtime for companies in the UK produced from a survey by CA. It just leaves you to change the number of employees and multiply this by the cost per employee per annum (£14,326) to:

Recovery time per outage 4 hours*
Downtime per outage 9.8 hours*
Average Frequency of outage 2.7*
Total hours of downtime per annum 38 hours*
Cost of downtime per hour per employee £377*
Cost of downtime per annum per employee £14,326
Number of people in your organisation 100
Total cost of downtime per annum £1,432,600

Of course you may have more personal numbers to replace these – for example you may want to factor in the loss of revenue from sales if you have a particularly transactional business, or the loss of customers if you are in a the financial industry. These are averages, but if a disaster recovery solution that can reduce recovery time to 1 hour is going to save you £305,000 then sure it’s justifiable to spend less than this on it?


By Jules Taplin