Disaster Recovery for Business: UC Tech Chat [Video]

By Brian Ferguson

UC Tech Chat PromoThe result of natural disasters can be devastating, from snow and flooding to earthquakes and tornadoes. As damaging as these events can be, more often than not, it’s not Mother Nature that causes the most damage for businesses. Regardless of the source, how does your business minimize the damage from a destructive event? That’s the topic on this week’s episode of UC Tech Chat.

Other than natural disasters, what events are likely responsible for bringing business to a halt? According to “Quorum Disaster Recovery Report 2013” and Gartner research, below are the main causes of network downtime for small to mid-size businesses(SMBs):

Hardware Failure

At 55 percent, hardware failure is the No. 1 cause of downtime for SMBs. With the protection of multiple power supplies, network controllers, and hard drives, you may feel prepared for disaster, however, unforeseen events can still happen. Air conditioning failing on a hot day, a rodent chewing through a cord, and a freak snowstorm that causes a power outage can happen to any business at any time. Among all the hardware-failure disasters SMBs experience, Storage-area network (SAN) failures are the most common.

Human Error

Of course, we can’t attribute all disasters to technical difficulties. According to findings, 22 percent of disasters are caused by human error Recently, Gartner analysts announced predictions that through 2015, as much as 80 percent of network outages impacting mission-critical services will be caused by people and process issues. This could include accidentally wiping out a file system on a server. The Gartner study found that the main reason for the human error was due to lack to resources. For example, consider cities and towns that have more IT jobs than qualified workers; or have a staff of only one or two IT employees, inundated with small tasks – on top of managing a large infrastructure. In these examples, it’s highly likely mistakes will be, and are being made.

Software Corruption

Software failure ranks third in overall disasters at 18 percent, according to the Quorum report. The issue lies in the lack of attention to testing patches before they are sent out, resulting in corruption of applications that can bring down entire systems or make them otherwise unavailable.

Operating systems that have been limping along for some time and finally die also contribute greatly to software failure. Also not to be overlooked is the impact viruses and malware have. In fact, USA Today reported that hackers operating on the Internet’s “Dark Web” are spreading a new, more sophisticated generation of the malicious software known as “ransomware,” anonymously shaking down anyone with an unprotected computer, from lawyers and cops to small businesses. These attacks can infect entire networks, effectively bringing a company to its knees.

Natural Disasters

Snowstorm

While the words “tornado,” “snow storm,” and “earthquake” are among the common words associated with “disaster,” their impact only accounts for 5 percent of disasters to SMBs- but can be far more damaging than the other contributors. After hurricanes Katrina and Rita, for example, 60 percent of Mississippi’s small businesses closed, according to the director of the Mississippi Small Business Development Center.

Regardless of a disaster’s origin, one thing is certain: The resulting downtime can bring any business to the brink, but especially smaller to mid-size businesses. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2014 weather related events caused $50 billion in lost productivity and 76,000 lost jobs. Ultimately, business leaders must understand how to successfully map out and implement a disaster recovery plan in order to minimize the potential high risk of loss to their businesses.

Given the widespread interest in this issue, it seems appropriate to spotlight Disaster Recovery in this week’s episode of UC Tech Chat.  In this episode, Jason Mefford (my co-host) and I, tackle the key considerations businesses face when creating a disaster recovery plan, and they take a look at some movies featuring technology gone horribly wrong. During the show’s segment of Julie’s InBox (with Julie Webb), appropriate backup systems for business PBXs are discussed.

Want to learn more about boosting the resilience of your business phone system? Learn how Switchvox Rescue can help protect your business.

As you can see, there is a lot to digest when it comes to threats to your business and planning your Disaster Recovery strategy. Ready to learn more?

Watch this week’s full episode of UC Tech Chat, now. If you have questions, or want to join in on the conversation, use the hashtag #UCTechChat on Twitter to discuss each episode.

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