Data Disruptions Exact Heavy Toll

Jan 15, 2014

Article was first posted on on January 10, 2014 Natural disasters are inevitable. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy left thousands of businesses...

Article was first posted on on January 10, 2014

Natural disasters are inevitable. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy left thousands of businesses powerless for weeks. Winter storm Hercules ravaged the Midwest and East Coast in early January, leaving those regions in chaos. Enterprises must keep valuable data backed up and, in the worst case, have a plan for data recovery. Both are critical for success—and survival.

In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast, causing damages that would eventually tally $60 billion in costs. Since then, there’s been no sign that such powerful storms will let up. In early January, Winter storm Hercules paralyzed the Midwest and East Coast.

These events serve as powerful reminders of the harm that nature can inflict upon businesses—and their systems—if they’re not prepared. Elan Chemical, a Newark, New Jersey-based chemical manufacturer that provides compounds for the food and fragrance industries, can attest to that. In 2012, Sandy left Elan’s server rooms flooded under eight feet of water–destroying computers, servers and local storage devices holding irreplaceable chemical formulas.

What’s at stake:

Without a robust solution for data backup, recovery and business continuity, enterprises risk angering customers and losing revenue in the face of natural disasters that can knock them out for weeks at a time.

Business downtime can represent a serious financial sinkhole. According to CA Technologies, the average American company suffers 10 hours of downtime each year, at an average cost per business of $159,331 annually. Nearly half of companies surveyed reported that they believe downtime negatively impacts both their brand and reputation. Despite the threat of data failure, 15 percent of small businesses have no data backup plans at all, while another 60 percent back up only using local storage, according to IDC.

Companies seeking backup generally have three options:

  • Local storage – Data is individually saved to devices kept on site
  • Direct-to-cloud – Data is sent off-site to the cloud, but is dependent on bandwidth. The cloud can be either private, managed internally, or public, managed by a third party.
  • Hybrid cloud – Data is saved both locally to a device, which also sends data to an off-site cloud, which requires less bandwidth and speeds recovery time.

“If your business goes down, especially if you’re nationwide or Internet-based, it can be really difficult to come back from that,” says Victor Mathieu, VP of Support at Datto, a business continuity provider based in Norwalk, CT. “The thing that’s really important is, can your business continue to function regardless of server downtime?”

The urgency of having a backup plan in place becomes greater as the amount of data in the world grows exponentially. By 2020, data production will be 44 times greater than it was in 2009, with more than a third of that data stored in, or moving through, the cloud, according to CSC.