February 15, 2018

How to justify a BCDR plan and get a high ROI

You all probably have at least one type of insurance policy, whether it is car, home or health insurance. Some of us even invest in travel insurance to recoup costs from travel-related emergencies. We pay a lot of money for these policies, yet we are always hoping we won’t have to use them. We don’t really appreciate the policy value until we have a major accident or experience medical issues.

A BCDR plan is somewhat like our insurance policies. It costs time and money to plan and implement and we hope a disaster will never interrupt our business. However, consider these facts from the recent The State Of Disaster Recovery Preparedness 2017 report.

  • Only 18 percent of respondents feel very prepared they could recover their data center in the event of a site failure or disaster event, and 37 percent rate themselves as prepared.
  • 22 percent of organizations had to declare a “disaster” and failover operations to their recovery site at least once during the last five years.
  • “Disasters” are most often associated with climactic events and or human-made disasters such as terrorist events and chemical spills but studies show it’s mundane events such as power failures, IT failures, and human error that cause most downtime.

So, how can you develop a business case that will show management why a BCDR plan is a necessity? After all, it’s a lot of money and there is no payback unless there is a business interruption.

Upfront, you will need to understand how your business works and what happens if a disaster should strike. If you lost all of your data, what would that cost the business in terms of revenue, lost productivity and the staff used in trying to restore it? Would you face regulatory fines if you can’t access your data? You also need to determine how long your company can afford to be down. This analysis is a collaborative effort between company management and IT.

TechTarget provides an excellent template for what they call a Business Impact Analysis. It provides step-by-step instructions for calculating how much a disaster could cost your organization.

Once you have your analysis in place, you will need to compare the costs of implementing a plan versus the cost to the business in a disaster to justify your strategy. Having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place that includes secure, remote, automatic backup for recovery of business-critical information, ensures that you will see a high return on your investment if disaster strikes.

To learn more about BCDR, listen to the Arrow Leadership Call webcast, “Arrow Global BCDR Overview,” and hear firsthand how Arrow ECS tackled their own BCDR planning and implementation. Then, if you would like more information on how to justify your BCDR plans, contact your Arrow representative.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted in January 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.