Whether caused by fire, flood, fraud, cyber-attack, power cut or IT system failure, disaster can strike at any time. Federation of Small Businesses identified that 42% of Northern Ireland businesses had been a victim of cybercrime in 2014, costing an average of £4,000 per business. As 43% of companies experiencing disasters never recover, does your company have a backup plan to keep operations from falling apart in an emergency?

According to Business Insider UK, natural disasters have cost the global economy $2.5 trillion since 2000. With the average cost of downtime ranging from $8000 for a small company to $800,000 for enterprises, as estimated by Aberdeen Group, data and operational uptime is critical. Nonetheless, many UK businesses remain reluctant to invest in a Business Continuity strategy, failing to realise the impact of a disaster on operations.

Unplanned events can have a devastating effect on a business, including the loss of income, important customers, and  reputation, with some going out of business altogether. With an average 18.5 hours for a business to recover, creating an effective risk management strategy is key to survival.

An effective business continuity and disaster recovery plan involves defining potential risks and infrastructure vulnerabilities in order to implement safeguards and procedures to mitigate the impact of a disaster. This needs to be continually tested and updated in line with a variety of risks that can potentially cause harm. However, with nearly 1 million new malware threats released every day, staying on top of emerging threats can be challenging.

According to an IDC study, businesses with an in-house continuity plan spend 32% more than those opting to outsource to a cloud provider. Business continuity and data backup provided via the cloud can reduce the overall cost and effort of protecting business systems. Business data and applications are held on servers remote from the physical premises, with high levels of accessibility, resilience and security. This ensures that if employees are unable to work in their normal building, they could still access files and information over the internet and continue working.

Furthermore, according to Business Insider UK, Office 356 is a number one cloud business application providing access to essential documents and emails with 99.9% uptime guarantee. Should a disaster strike, users of Office 365 can continue to work as normal with remote and mobile access. With five layers of security and built-in data loss prevention system, the risk of data loss or potential disruption is very low, ensuring business agility.

Even a relatively short disruption to normal business procedures can damage customer relationships, cash flow, reputation and of course, profits. Therefore, being able to handle any incident effectively can significantly reduce risks and futureproof your business preparing it for any possibility.

For advice and more information about our Business Continuity services click here.

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