Posts Tagged ‘disaster preparedness’

Data Backup Is Not The Same As Disaster Recovery

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

National Underwriter conducted a teleconference to discuss small business disaster preparedness and, surprise – the panelists who spoke reported that small businesses are not prepared to work through disruptions.  David Paulison, former executive director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, stated “small businesses that don’t have a plan in place generally don’t survive after a disaster, whether it’s a flood or a tornado. We see that anywhere from 40-60%  of those that are hit like that simply don’t come back to business.” Also participating in the teleconference was Bob Boyd, chief executive officer of Agility Recovery Solutions, who shared the findings of a survey of more than 700 business owners his company had conducted with Hughes Marketing Group.  According to that survey, over the past two years, more than half of businesses experience interruptions that affected productivity.  The survey also reported that:

  • 90% of smaller companies (<100 employees) surveyed spend less than one day per month maintaining their continuity plans;
  • 22% spend no time maintaining their plans; and
  • 20% of larger companies (>100 employees) spend more than 10 days per month on their continuity plans.

Mr. Boyd pointed out that a data backup plan is not a disaster recovery plan. “The best data in the world are useless if you cannot make use of it.” Indeed, in Prepare for the Worst, Plan for the Best: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery for Small Businesses (Wiley, second edition, 2008), I shared the example of a business based in the World Trade Center that had backed up its data. Sadly, the only employees who knew how to recover the data and work with it perished on 9-11. It bears repeating: you have invested too much in your business to leave it unprotected.