“What could go wrong?” That’s a phrase many business owners wish they had never uttered. The truth is, they call “the unexpected” unexpected for a reason. You never know when some out-of-the-blue disaster is going to befall your business, costing you thousands just to get everything up and running again.
If even your insurance policy protects your business against certain natural disasters it doesn’t mean suffering through one will be a joyride. From an IT perspective, a serious disaster can:
- Shut down your business for an indefinite period of time as you scramble to replace damaged equipment, recover lost data, and return the whole system to its pre-disaster state.
- Cause you to lose critical data beyond any hope of recovery.
What could go wrong? If you think your small business IT system is safe from unexpected disasters, consider these three scenarios.
1. A water pipe bursts, flooding your server room
Floods don’t just happen near rivers and they aren’t always natural. You might have experienced this at your home, so what’s stopping it from occurring at your business? Besides ruptured pipes, water can seep into your IT systems any number of ways: overflowing toilets, leaky air conditioners, damaged or malfunctioning sprinklers. If you’ve ever dropped your phone into a puddle, you know water can be a killer for electronics.
2. A rat sneaks into your offices, chews a wire, starts a fire
Those pesky critters! According to some estimates, rodents are the cause of up to 25 percent of unexplained fires. They can sneak through some very tight spaces and cause havoc. Even if you keep your office super clean, if those slobs in the suite next door don’t, there could be an infestation in your walls right now, just waiting to start a fire. Fires can be catastrophic to any small business; for those with complex IT systems that are difficult to rebuild, even more so.
3. Hackers shut down the power grid; it stays down for several days
It could happen. To some extent, you count on the reliability of utilities and municipal services to keep your business supplied with electricity. The power can go out even in regions that aren’t susceptible to storms. The 2003 Northeast Blackout, the second largest ever recorded in the world, left parts of New England unexpectedly without power for days. Unfortunately if ,there's an outage that won’t mean a whole lot to your customers who live in other parts of the country and are still expecting to receive their orders on time.
Stay open, keep working
As far-fetched as they might seem, these three scenarios, and others like them, can happen and have happened to small businesses just like yours. Work with your outsourced IT provider to create a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan that will keep your business’s critical functions rolling no matter what happens. New cloud technology gives businesses more reliable, more affordable backup options than ever before. Businesses for which downtime is never an option should look into business continuity solutions, which will replicate their entire IT system in the cloud just in case the unexpected happens.
Read more about how to prepare your business for a disaster in our free white paper, “The Ultimate Small Business Guide to IT Outsourcing.”