The Cost Of Disaster

hard driveAfter working with small and mid-size businesses in the lower mainland, we found that 90% of business owners we talk to do NOT have a reliable backup of their data and do NOT know how or what they would do in the event of an  data-erasing disaster.  They simply “hope” their backup is/was working and that it will Save Their Monkey when disaster strikes. This “hope” approach is incredible when you consider how dependent businesses are on information – be it client databases, accounting records, e-mails, pictures, inventory, blueprints, and other work products – almost ALL processes in a business rely on the availability of digital information.

The cost of losing that information (or being without it for an extended period of time) is hard to accurately quantify since it affects so many aspects of a business.  But we do know this: 93% of companies that lost their data for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster, and 50% filed for bankruptcy immediately. 69% of Canadian companies are victims of cyber-attacks, 20% of small business will suffer an unexpected disaster.

More telling, however, is the impact on small business.  I find it alarming that cyber-attacks on small business rose 300% in 2013 and that 72% of actual data breaches were focused on small and medium business. And yet studies have shown that 85% of small business owners do NOT believe they will be attacked!

Where do you stand on this question?  Are you certain that your business will be able to withstand an unexpected disaster?  Do you know what the cost to your business would be if you lost your business data?  Use this simple two-step to process to determine your risk.

  1. Identify all data and IT-related functions (like credit card processing, documents on your file server, member web portal, a CRM system, critical applications, etc.) you have in place.
  2. Classify the importance of the data and functions you’ve identified.

Use the following rating system on the impact to your business if you suffered a significant outage or complete loss of the data and processes you’ve identified:

0% = Zero Impact

20% = Annoying but Recoverable

40% = Minor Damage with Loss

60% = Disaster with Considerable Loss

80% = Major Disaster with Significant Loss

100% = Total Loss

When assessing costs, be sure to factor in loss of tangible sales, client goodwill, costs for re-keying the data (or any other recovery costs) as well as legal costs associated with failure to deliver on contractual obligations, potential lawsuits, etc.


The Cost of Disaster calculator will provide you with the right information to define a backup and disaster recovery roadmap appropriate to your risk and business needs.


About Bob Milliken

Bob Milliken is the owner and president of Cascadia Systems Group, a leading provider of enterprise hosting, business continuity, and IT Services to clients throughout the lower mainland. With over 30 years in the IT industry, Bob has provided technology solutions and business consulting services to the transportation industry, aerospace, the national railways, retail auto, wholesale and retail distribution, and professional service associations. Bob learned his trade with technology industry leaders Univac and Microsoft and continues today to keep abreast of technology innovations. Bob is the Master of Disaster and is known for his expertise in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning. His “Save Your Monkey” disaster recovery platform protects small business from unexpected disaster. Bob is also an expert in Cloud Computing. His Made-in-Canada cloud solution is used by small and medium-sized businesses to keep their data safe and out of the reach of the US Patriot act. Bob is the co-author of “What is Cloud Computing and Why Should I Care”, and “I Don’t Care, Just Fix IT”. He is also the author of “Computer Cents”, a series of weekly news articles and blogs that focus on the impact that today's fast changing IT technologies are having on Canadian Businesses, and is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines. Bob is a member of the Surrey Board of Trade, the Surrey Board of Trade Innovation Council, and Vancouver Rapid Time Networks. In his spare time, Bob is a sailor and appreciates any time that he can spend on the water.

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