Would your business survive a disaster?

Here in the UK natural disasters are unlikely. Our stable environment is quite safe (most of the time). However, Britain is sometimes affected by adverse weather conditions. The widespread flooding that hit the UK earlier this month and in late June proved a severe test for many businesses. This particularly affected areas of West Yorkshire, North and South Wales and Ireland. And although the heavy rain has stopped for the time being, itís only a matter of months before the cold weather, particularly bad in recent winters, wreaks havoc across the country.

Unfortunately, flooding is a yearly occurrence across areas of Britain and that is raising a serious challenge for IT. According to the Environment Agency, with the onset of climate change and land shortage encouraging construction in areas that are considered highly susceptible to flooding, the probability of a business being affected by a flood or a tidal surge has increased sharply.

Imagine losing your data due to flooding or any other misfortune that may occur such as theft, fire, power cut or technical malfunction. This is exactly what happened in Belfast when Massey House and Dundonald House were flooded. As a result of the flooding,†thousands of government documents were damaged†including policy papers and prison service records. Now the immense task to recover these documents is underway. This is estimated to cost around £100,000. A month later, furthermore, hundreds of civil servants still havenít returned to their offices.

It is in such moments that the importance for companies to have robust Disaster Recovery protocols in place to ensure business continuity is emphasised.

Data, especially the customersí data, is a critical element to the operation of any businesses. When access to this information is denied it can severely disrupt the day-to-day operation of an organisation, even driving them out of business. A survey carried out by AXA in 2006 exemplifies the anxiety felt by businesses should a disaster occur.

It is important to remember, therefore, that the physical aspects of a business are replaceable, but losing data which is essential to continued operation can put a company on the sidelines for weeks, if not permanently.

By implementing an effective Disaster Recovery plan and a full featured backup solution, such as Online Backup, such difficulties can be avoided by protecting data in a geographically remote location. This means that businesses will have the reassurance that trading can continue even if their premises are temporarily unusable or their IT systems become damaged. In such circumstances, the data is fully recoverable from a virtual environment and can be accessed from anywhere in that world at anytime.

Disaster recovery is about making sure that no matter what happens, a business can carry on as usual. As the recent flooding has demonstrated, it is imperative that companies in less resilient sites consider how they would cope if a disaster should occur. In the event of a disaster, would you and your business be prepared?

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