Why do you buy house or car insurance? In some locations, it’s illegal to be without it.
But the legal system aside, what reasons do people have for paying month after month, year after year?
Protection. No one ever expects a disaster to happen to them, but they purchase insurance just in case.
In the business world, disaster recovery works in similar ways to house or car insurance. No one ever wants a disaster to occur—in fact that’s why so many companies put overlapping measures in place to prevent one—but if it does happen, it pays to be prepared and protected.


The high cost of ‘oops’

While disasters that affect your business can be caused by nature, like hurricanes or earthquakes, the more common types of technology disasters are usually caused by some form of “oops.”
Human error plays a large role when things go wrong with technology. It typically occurs through an unintentional action or non-action—like accidental keystrokes while writing code, forgetting to change passwords, or failing to update software. These seemingly small errors open your up business to potential data disasters, either malicious (malware, ransomware) or accidental (unplugging a server by accident).


Determining the point of no return

First, your IT department should work with other parts of the company to establish the length of time your business could be offline, before things hit catastrophic proportions.
Say, for example, you’re an online-only retailer, and your servers were to crash during your annual monster sale. How long would it take until the loss of revenue threatened your enterprise?
Or if your business is an airline, and your systems were to go offline, how long would it be until this became a safety issue for your pilots, or a reputational risk so large that you might not recover?
Second, your business should figure out how much data it could lose before hitting that point of no return. For example, if yours was a law office, how much of your client data or case files could you lose before things hit critical mass?
Being able to comprehensively answer these two vital questions, in depth, will help you to keep your business intact should a disaster occur.
Once you’ve answered these questions, that’s when the real work begins—creating and preparing to execute on a strategy and plan for your two outlined worst-case scenarios.