04-15-16 | Blog Post

Selling IT disaster recovery to your board of directors

Blog Posts

Disaster recovery protects your dataIT Disaster recovery is all about protecting your data, and the cost of data loss can be staggering. According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, an estimated 25 percent of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster. As a business, you spend an enormous amount of time, planning, and money into making your organization successful. But what are you doing to protect yourself against a disaster?

If it’s time for you to re-evaluate your current DR position, make sure your board of directors knows the above statistic and remembers to budget accordingly. The most important point to make when it comes to selling DR to your board is that they recognize the company’s sensitivity to downtime, which is typically gathered from a Business Impact Analysis. That cost or impact will be different for each company, but if your application is a major source of revenue for you, it may only be minutes or even seconds that you can afford to lose. That’s not a lot of time.

If you have hard numbers to back up your downtime sensitivity, that will have a huge impact on your board. It will equate back to revenue, lost customers and a damaged image in the marketplace, which is what board is most likely focused on. For further effect, show how the cost of building, maintaining and having a DR infrastructure is realized if your site has a certain amount of downtime.

You’ll probably face concerns about these two points:

  1. How much it will cost to maintain something you might not need?
  2. What’s the likelihood that you really will have a disaster that completely wipes out your production site?

These can be, unfortunately, hard to answer, because you simply never know what will happen. You could face an equipment failure, catastrophic data loss, or a power outage long enough to affect your emergency power source. All of these scenarios (as well as many more) are very likely, and given your sensitivity to downtime are probably more likely than your executive team is willing to live with.

However, with what’s happening in the world nowadays it’s unlikely you’ll have much trouble selling DR to your board. Most companies are already aware of the importance of disaster recovery and allocate budgets to it accordingly. Ignorance or naivety are no longer factors in denying funds to IT departments for DR.

Once you’ve cleared the hurdle of selling DR itself, it’s time to propose the options you’ve identified. Unless you are a sizable company, you probably shouldn’t host the infrastructure yourself. If you have to look into all avenues though, determine a CAPEX appropriate for your company size and business needs, and do some research to see how much you need to fully support a DR solution yourself (this includes licensing costs, staff time and recurring training, just to name a few). Compare your results to what a service provider charges, and recommend the option that is more valuable to your company.

There are some major advantages to using Disaster Recovery as a Service:

  • Your time to deployment will be much faster
  • You’ll be able to take advantage of the provider’s staff expertise, freeing your department to focus on your core competencies
  • Your ability to use the provider’s monitoring and reporting tools to track adherence to your SLA
  • You will realize potentially millions in savings in capital costs, leaving you only with operating expenses, which are much more manageable
  • Oh, and you’ll sleep better at night!

When it comes to protecting your data, disaster recovery is a critical step. Leveraging the talents and resources of a DRaaS provider can alleviate the monetary concerns that come with hosting your infrastructure yourself. Make sure your CEO or board of directors understands the economic advantages of making such an investment and approves an option that protects your business.

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