Why disaster planning can save your business

Over the years many businesses have neglected to create a disaster plan in the event of an emergency or catastrophic event. Yet, this is such a pivotal part of business planning. Despite this fact many businesses still fail to engage in and develop a disaster plan to protect their company.

Image credit: tpsdave via Pixabay

Why do businesses neglect disaster planning?

There are many theories as to why businesses tended to neglect disaster planning. These range from complacency to understaffing and much in between. Other businesses put a plan on paper, but never test or update the plan once in place. This is almost as bad as neglecting a plan in the first place because there is no way to know whether or not the plan is even effective or worth the paper it is written on. Not to mention with rapid changes in technology, plans may become inefficient or even obsolete.

Disaster can happen anywhere and at anytime

Disaster is not something that "happens, but it'll never happen to us", disaster can arise anywhere, anytime and can emerge from a multitude of occurrences. If not a terrorist attack or natural disaster, it could be a severe malware event; the latter can happen at any time as many major organizations found out when the September 2010 “Here you have” virus slammed their networks and for some, caused a temporary shutdown. Disasters can vary in magnitude, but from a business perspective, any kind of interruption, big or small, can be problematic.

Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 many businesses were faced with the realization of how tragedy can strike and in the process destroy a business. Hurricane Katrina and the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajokull further demonstrated how natural disaster can also strike at anytime and have severe impact on business.

These types of events have placed disaster planning back in the forefront and many businesses are realizing the tangible value of having a disaster recovery plan in place before disaster hits. Preparation for the unexpected is a valuable effort for businesses to invest in as a protective measure in the event of an unforeseen and disastrous event.

Problems with downtime

Any downtime, regardless of cause, is harmful, but some businesses cannot afford extended periods of downtime. Imagine a company like Amazon.com or a major airline losing network access? Even Facebook outage would create a problem for many. The financial results could be disastrous, especially for extended periods of time. This is true for any company, however, those that rely upon online access and/or information systems to run will suffer more if no disaster recovery and/or backup plan is in place.

Whatever the reason for neglecting disaster preparedness, this is an unwise business move. A solid disaster plan can save a business from failure in the event of a severe interruption or emergency. Historically, statistics indicate that businesses that do not have a disaster plan are likely to fail within a few years after the disaster if they did not collapse immediately. 
Businesses that want to survive disasters have to be proactive and plan for them. If anything, a good disaster plan can be likened to an insurance policy. You hope you never need it, but are darn sure glad you have it in the event something occurs. In the end having a disaster plan could save your business.


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