Disasters hit all businesses hard, but for SMBs, a disaster can be a death sentence. In a study conducted by Nationwide, SMBs said it takes at least three months to recover from a natural disaster. However, 75 percent of SMBs don’t have a disaster recovery plan, and FEMA estimates that about 40 percent of small business affected by a natural disaster never reopen their business.
Think about hurricanes on the coast, wildfires, earthquakes, and floods. Natural disasters happen all the time, in every geographic location, and there is always a wake of destruction once the disaster is over. That also doesn’t take into consideration man-made disasters. Cyberattacks are one the rise, and a single unencrypted laptop can be a disaster for an SMB if it’st lost. Since SMBs make up over 99 percent of the businesses in the U.S., it’s safe to assume that most businesses that suffer after a disaster are SMBs.
Most SMBs Don’t Have BDR
The U.S. Small Business Administration has a section of its website dedicated to helping SMBs prepare for a disaster. It’s excellent information, but it doesn’t address the major problem most SMBs have with backup and disaster recover (BDR)—they don’t have the time or knowledge to create a BDR plan to fall back on. Instead of working through what they can complete and seeking out a partner for the rest, most SMBs choose to take the risk that they’ll never fall victim to a disaster. They never complete the BDR plan.
Not having a backup and disaster recovery plan is like not having health insurance. There’s no reason to think you’ll need it, until you do, and then it’s too late. No one plans to break an arm, get sick, or have an accident, but it happens. Those people who plan ahead are covered under insurance, so once they recover from their injury or illness, they’re right back into the normal flow of daily life. Those who don’t anticipate a disaster? They often find themselves laden with crushing debt which can affect other areas of doing business.
The same principle is true for having a BDR program. BDR is your insurance against a disaster—natural or manmade. You don’t need it until you do, but when you do, having it is the difference between continuing forward with your business and never recovering.
Disaster Recovery as a Service
For those businesses that struggle to have the time or expertise to develop and implement a disaster recovery plan, there is another option—Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). DRaaS is offered by some managed IT services providers. It allows you to hand the responsibility for your data backup and business continuity to a trusted partner. Someone who has both experience and expertise in BDR.
It’s important to understand, too, that data backup and disaster recovery are not the same thing. It’s not enough to back your data up to a data warehouse or a cloud somewhere and expect to have everything you need if a disaster occurs. You won’t. A data backup, even if it’s a backup of your entire system is still just a backup and won’t guarantee that you can recover your systems in the event of a disaster.
Disaster recovery works with data backups. The real difference between data backups and recovery or continuity is in how easy it is to restore data to your operating environment. That’s the value of having a trusted partner that manages the process for you. A well-managed DRaaS plan can have your systems back to a pre-disaster state in the shortest amount of time, sometimes in only a few hours. A team of DRaaS specialists provided by our managed IT services provider does all the heavy lifting for you. They’ll handle all the reconnects, pulling your data into the newest version of your systems, and if necessary, they can keep you running in the cloud until your hardware is replaced. It will be as if nothing ever went sideways with your IT infrastructure in the first place.