With the summer winding down, it's that time of year when department heads and business owners to plan out their IT budgeting for the next 12 months. Carving out an IT budget can be a painstaking process, as businesses need to determine what to prioritize and what can be shelved for the next year. There are a lot of factors to consider here, but one item that should be included in every 2018 IT budget is disaster recovery solutions.
The good news for small and medium-sized business decision-makers is that IT budgets seem to be trending upward. IDC's recent analysis predicted a 4.5 percent compound annual growth rate in SMB IT spending over the next five years. That doesn't necessarily make the task of prioritizing IT needs any easier, however. Projecting requirements for the next 12 months can often be a moving target, and it's not unusual for decision-makers to overlook emerging demands.
If you overlook disaster recovery, though, it could come back to haunt you and your business.
"Mother Nature doesn't have to get involved for disaster to strike."
Don't sleep on DR
A particularly infamous statistic, courtesy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, claims that 40 percent shut down permanently following a disaster. The government agency is, of course, referring to natural disasters like floods, tornados and earthquakes, but disaster can come in many forms. A distributed denial-of-service attack, for instance, could overload your primary data center and take critical services offline. Mother Nature doesn't have to get involved for disaster to strike.
Some SMB decision-makers may think that a dedicated DR solution is a major expense and opt to allocate spend toward other, smaller ticket items. However, by working with a managed services provider, SMBs can get the best disaster recovery solutions without breaking the bank. Instead of paying for space in a data center to house backup servers and hiring experienced personnel to oversee and maintain DR assets, those expenses can be offloaded onto the service provider. In this way, SMBs receive enterprise-quality DR capabilities at a fraction of the cost.
Furthermore, working with a DR managed service provider allows organizations to enjoy a greater level of redundancy. Data backups can be housed in multiple locations so businesses are further protected against a devastating event.
Selling the need for DR
DR initiatives may hit a roadblock when it comes time to get the approval of key decision-makers. After all, how do you rationalize spending money on a theoretical event? Think of DR like insurance. You don't really appreciate the coverage it provides until the day it kicks into action. Likewise, for those who neglect it, they will be sorely disappointed that they didn't build DR into their IT budgets when disaster strikes.
Bean counters may view disaster recovery as a sunk cost, but it's an investment on sustained business continuity. With all the risks to operations lurking out there – inclement weather, cyber attacks, network outages, etc. – is that something you really want to gamble on? Ultimately, prioritizing disaster recovery in your IT budget is the sensible thing to do.
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