What can an ostrich teach you about business continuity? As it turns out, a lot.
In their book, “The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters,” authors Howard Kunreuther and Robert Meyer make the case that ostriches get a bum rap. The classic image of the big bird with his head in the sand gives the impression that ostriches deal with risk by ignoring it.
In reality, ostriches do a pretty good job of mitigating risk. They can’t fly, but they can run at amazing speeds. They can also kick hard enough to kill a lion.
The trick to disaster preparation is to approach it like an ostrich. Know where you’re susceptible to loss and counter those potential weaknesses with a solid plan.
Heads in the Sand
Three out of four small businesses have no disaster recovery plan at all. Unpleasant though it is, think about that for a moment.
There are innumerable things that can go wrong. Natural disasters are both unpredictable and potentially catastrophic. Fire can raze a building to the ground. Viruses can bring networks to their knees. A data breach can expose your entire system.
Disaster comes in all shapes and forms. No business is immune, regardless of size, legacy or location. And a lack of preparation can be devastating.
The High Cost of Downtime
Of the organizations without a business continuity plan, 90% permanently close their doors within one year of a disaster.
The real killer here is downtime. Consider what it would cost if your business grinds to a halt. Just one day of downtime could leave you reeling for weeks, throwing off profitability and productivity for the entire organization. By one estimate, downtime costs small businesses up to $8,600 per hour.
Unfortunately, that’s just one aspect of the cost. Downtime also impacts employee satisfaction, which in turn impacts productivity. And then there’s your reputation to consider. How will your customers feel about you if given the impression that you aren’t reliable?
Business Continuity in Action
By contrast, organizations with robust business continuity plans stand out when others struggle. That’s because a business continuity plan allows you to bounce back, whatever the nature of the disaster. It’s a failsafe you hope you never have to use, but one that can literally save your business.
There are three advantages that come with a business continuity plan.
First, you’re protected against the losses associated with downtime. For example, employees can log in remotely, able to work even if your office isn’t accessible. Automated tasks continue to perform. Your customers aren’t left in a lurch, suddenly without your services. Instead, you’re able to continue doing business, even in the midst of a genuine crisis.
Second, your data is safe. Any solid business continuity plan will include some form of backup and recovery option. That means even if every hard drive in your office simultaneously stops working, you don’t lose a single spreadsheet.
Finally, you get the intangible (but powerful) benefit of peace of mind. You won’t have to worry about worst case scenarios. Rather, you’ll know that even if disaster hits, you’re ready for it.
Creating Your Business Continuity Plan
Developing the kind of business continuity plan that provides real protection takes some know-how. This isn’t one of those times a do-it-yourself approach will suffice. You want someone with serious credentials to walk you through the process, ensuring every base is covered.
CCS Technology knows disaster recovery. We’ll take the time to understand how your business functions. From there, we’ll put together a plan that takes into account every kind of contingency. Should the unthinkable happen, you’ll be in the best possible position: prepared.
Maybe it’s time to put together a business continuity plan for your organization. If so, we’re here to help.