Most people think of hurricanes, floods, blizzards and power failures, but disasters can occur at the micro level as well in the form of viruses, end-user error, malicious intent and server failure.

What may be more compelling is how these events can impact your business as a result of downtime. In fact, micro-level disasters account for an overwhelming majority of downtime that affect businesses on a daily basis. For a better understanding of your company’s recovery time objective (RTO) and an estimated cost of downtime, take a look at Datto’s RTO and Downtime Cost Calculator.

If you’re still not sure if downtime matters to you, maybe you can relate to some of these scenarios?

Scenario 1: A medical practice whose machines are down due to server failure. How long could this business be down before it starts to “hurt”?

Impact: Patients are turned away and equipment isn’t functioning, resulting in thousands of pounds in lost revenue. For a medical practice, downtime doesn’t only impact the patients, staff, revenue and profit. The loss of data can result in drastic fines if this business was to lose patient records and billing information. For a medical practice, data protection resulting in near-zero downtime is a must.

Scenario 2: A law firm that needs specific case files, but were recently affected by the CryptoLocker virus. How are they going to break their files free?

Impact: Pay a hefty ransom just to access files that are on the law firm’s server. These are files they own, but are paying to access (because of the ransomware). Without them, not only will they lose the case at hand, but they may also lose years of priceless files and records.

Scenario 3: A retail business that processes hundreds of transactions a day, has the point of sale system go down and they can’t process and record transactions.

Impact: The store will need to close until the problem is fixed, resulting in lost revenue and depending on the day of the week (ex. the weekend before the holidays), there could be a major impact on profits. Another unfortunate result will be the damage to brand equity if the situation is not resolved quickly. When a point of sale system goes down, the retail operation goes down with it. This could result in complete closure of the store because there’s no way to have the system back up and running in a failover environment.

Scenario 4: A financial institution that lost its transactional data due to flood damage at their data center.

Impact: For financial institutions, retaining records of all transactions is paramount to meeting regulatory and compliance requirements. Loss of data can result in hefty fines, time-consuming audits and may even lead to dissolution of the business.

While the scenarios described above are unique, they occur every day. Luckily, they don’t have to end in distress. If you have a solid business continuity plan, you can minimise the impact any of the disasters above would have on your business.

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