Too often, organizations believe they have a comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) plan in place when, in fact, their program may be incomplete.
With the frequency and impact of cybercrime growing each year, as well as the inevitability of hardware failures and other outages, having a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy in place is absolutely critical for organizations to ensure they can quickly recover from unplanned downtime or data loss.
Organizations that fail to identify, address and plan for data loss and downtime are at greatest risk of sustaining a negative impact to their business. These risks include:
- Interrupted service
- Lost sales and revenue
- High costs
- Potential supply chain disruption
- Damage to reputation due to negative press post-outage
- Greater vulnerability to critical data loss in the event of a ransomware attack
Despite these risks, many information technology (IT) organizations continue to face significant challenges in convincing senior management to increase budget allocation for a comprehensive DR program.
So how can you get senior executives on board with a budget increase before a data center interruption impacts your business? Here are four strategies to start.
- Strike the term “disaster” from your vocabulary. The word “disaster” is associated with low probability events such as a widespread outage due to an earthquake, flood or act of terrorism. In reality, most downtime is caused by mundane, everyday events such as hardware failure, human error, severe weather or power outages. As employees work remotely in greater frequency, employee-based incidents are increasingly on the rise, wreaking havoc on IT environments. By removing the word “disaster” from your conversations with senior management and discussing business resiliency in terms of high probability events, they are far more likely to pay attention.
- Refer to IT recovery in terms of risk mitigation. C-level executives problem solve in terms of risk mitigation and revenue. When discussing IT recovery plans, highlight the risks of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue due to the interruption of a mission-critical application. You don’t have to search hard for companies experiencing cybercrime-caused outages to find a recent headline as an example. Approach this conversation by identifying all of the IT risks for your company and prioritizing them by probability and impact. Then ask executives to identify the risks they are willing to mitigate versus the risks they are willing to accept and work with the C-suite to outline an evolving program that starts by addressing the highest probability and highest impact risks.
- Explain the benefits of IT recovery. While outlining risks is important, so is underscoring the benefits of IT recovery. Gaining a competitive advantage, meeting supply chain demands, meeting service-level agreements and meeting regulatory and compliance requirements are just a few to start the conversation. Faster recovery means your mission-critical, revenue-supporting applications stay up, but you can also turn IT recovery into a revenue generator. Consider a software-as-a-service company that offers different tiers of its application-as-a-service, charging a higher price point for the additional benefit of disaster recovery as an included feature.
- Point management to a specific solution. Lastly, it may be most effective to recommend which specific applications require an active recovery plan rather than simply focus on the fact that management needs to spend more on IT recovery. Pointing to a specific, proven and comprehensive solution that meets your IT recovery needs will enable you to justify the investment.
In today’s competitive environment, the consequences of data loss for your business are dire: downtime, lost productivity and long-term reputational damage. By ensuring your organization has a comprehensive, multi-layered approach to IT recovery, you can help improve your resilience to high probability threats and quickly respond in the event of data loss or theft.
This article originally ran in Security, a twice-monthly security-focused eNewsletter for security end users, brought to you by Security Magazine. Subscribe here.