In the world of IT, individuals often define a disaster as a hurricane, tornado, flood or earthquake. The truth is that a disaster is any event that prevents your business from accessing data and systems required to operate, including regional power outages, cyber attacks, employee sabotage and hardware failure. Disaster recovery (DR) solutions used to be time, capital and resource intensive, but now it’s easier than ever to deploy DR with cloud technology at a fraction of the cost. There has never been a better time for your company to consider Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to protect against a catastrophe, either man-made or natural.

As businesses move more toward a virtualized and an ever-evolving IT ecosystem, legacy DR approaches – array-based, guest/OS-based or appliance-based – become expensive and complex to maintain. Software-based disaster recovery at the hypervisor level allows your company to prioritize applications, and provides constant, automated testing to validate a DR strategy before an actual disaster.

Although a company may think they have a well-established BCDR (Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery) plan, it’s important to understand if this plan is tape-based, hardware-dependent or a true cloud solution. The first two can be flawed, as well as time- and resource-intensive. Even companies with a DR plan may be dependent on outdated technology like snapshot or secondary site DR.

A cloud-based DRaaS solution replicates your virtual machines to a geographically diverse location, helping with quick recovery after a disaster. If you aren’t convinced your company needs a disaster recovery plan, check out the top ten reasons below why your business should consider one:

10. Because you can’t afford downtime.

Twenty percent of businesses experience a failure (fire, flood, power outage, natural disaster, etc.) in any given year, and 80 percent of those businesses will go under in just over a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Also, according to Gartner Inc., with IT downtime costs estimated at $26.5 billion in lost revenue, you can’t afford not to have a disaster recovery plan in place.

9. Because your customers and prospects expect it.

Downtime means a lack of availability to your customers and a loss of business in the immediate and possibly long term.

8. Because if you spent a lot of time building your brand, you need to protect it.

Downtime and lost data can ruin your reputation and brand, as well as diminish trust resulting in lost revenue, yet only 35 percent of small- and medium-sized enterprises have a DR plan in place according to a Gartner study.  Are you rolling the dice with your brand?

7. Because Mother Nature does not play favorites.

According to the United Nations, natural disasters have cost the global economy $2.5 trillion since the year 2000.  Virtually every area of the United States is subject to some sort of disaster whether it is a flood, fire, hurricane or tornado.   You shouldn’t leave your businesses’ well-being up to chance.

6. Because machines break.

You can buy the best equipment on the market, but that does not safe guard you from malfunctions, lemons and breaks.  Ninety-nine percent of IT professionals have experienced a hardware failure at some point in their careers.

5. Because we live in an always-on world that requires always-on capabilities.

In a survey conducted by 1&1 Internet, Inc., 72 percent of web users report abandoning a company website for a competitor’s due to frustrations with the site. When a website goes down, online shoppers are not willing to wait for the unknown time at which the site will be back online.  If you aren’t protecting your internet and network, you leave the door wide open for their competitors.

4. Because compliance and regulations require it.

According to a Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark Survey, 65 precent of companies need to produce DR reports for items such as compliance.  Disaster recovery also helps safeguard data required by HIPAA regulations regarding record keeping and BIA (Business Impact Analysis).

3. Because you can’t predict what data might be lost and the value it had for your company’s well-being.

Gartner found that 43 percent of companies were immediately put out of business by a “major loss” of computer records, and another 51 percent  permanently closed their doors within two years — leaving a mere six percent “survival” rate in the marketplace.

2. Because it will save you money.

Are you running duplicate sites and multiple servers all to ensure if something happens to one you have another to fall back on?  Consider the cost savings by implementing virtual machines that can recover data in case of disaster.  According to Business Computing World, before virtualization, disaster recovery would have cost at least three times as much because an organization needed to have multiple data centers, specialized software and large network connections.

1. Because we’re all human.

Humans make mistakes.   The IT Process Institute found that 80 percent of unplanned outages are due to ill-planned changes made by administrators. Additionally, 60 percent of availability and performance errors are the result of misconfigurations according to the Enterprise Management Association.

Now is the time to leverage a cloud-based DRaaS solution so your business can easily scaleup or down a solution in a cost efficient manner and take advantage of RPOs (Recovery Point Objectives) from minutes or less and RTOs (Recovery Time Objectives) in under an hour.

For more information and to see if your business is prepared for disaster recovery, check out this infographic or visit BizTech Magazine for the latest in cloud trends.

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