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How Much Should You Spend On Business Continuity In 2019?

As business needs evolve, and technology improves, we’re seeing organizations gradually shift their spending focus away from disaster recovery to business continuity.

Disaster recovery will always be critical when events such as natural disasters occur. Sadly, extreme weather such as hurricanes and fires will drastically impact your organization, regardless of how resilient your business continuity plan is.

However, as businesses continue to focus on cyber security and uptime, business continuity spending is gradually increasing. According to recent research 47% of organizations increased spending on business continuity in 2018 to help improve their availability and uptime.

It’s also important for organizations, especially small to mid-sized business, to remember that their business continuity plan needs to involve far more than just offsite data backups. The plan needs to include a wide range of proactive measures to help ensure data security and maximum process reliability. This helps avoid needing to implement reactive measures as part of a disaster recovery plan.

Organizations average 6% of their annual IT budget on business continuity spending, however that figure should vary based on your own organization’s anticipated revenue loss caused by downtime. The revenue loss of a large-scale data center won’t equal that of a small professional office; likewise, a warehouse that stores perishable goods will very likely have a different downtime risk than that of a laboratory.

Focus on what you stand to lose when considering your 2019 spending

Before building your 2019 business continuity budget, you must first understand how much your organization stands to lose due to downtime.

Some factors to consider are:

  • How much downtime have you had in the past?
  • What factors might come into play based on your location? Are you in the path of storms, are you near large bodies of water, etc?
  • If your facility is not accessible, can your employees work remotely? Or are their positions based on access to your facility?
  • Do your cyber security plans also focus on physical loss of data and hardware, rather than just outside intrusion?

Thinking about all these factors will help you to determine how much your organization needs to spend on business continuity in 2019. By considering your actual cost of downtime, you’ll be able to determine how much availability you require, and the costs needed to ensure that availability.

Reviewing is just as important as spending

Installing business continuity components such as firewalls, environment monitors, offsite data backups, and cloud-based software are important, however the simple truth is that many organizations don’t actually review their business continuity plan with any regularity. 34% of organizations that have an active business continuity plan don’t regularly review it or test its individual components to ensure they’re working at maximum capacity.

Once your 2019 business continuity plan is in place it’s crucial to have planned reviews and audits of the steps you’ve put into place to ensure your uptime. Updating licenses, subscriptions, and firmware for firewalls and environment monitors, and software updates are crucial to avoid gaps in your security. Likewise, it’s important to review any proactive alerts you’ve created to make sure they’re being sent to the appropriate employees and departments.

Employees should also play an active role in your business continuity plan, so they understand the organizational steps and personal steps required to ensure maximum uptime. When your staff understands the steps and goals of your business continuity plan, you’ll have more buy-in from everyone which leads to a more alert staff when it comes to identifying potential downtime causes.

Prepare for a profitable 2019

Downtime for any organization means lost revenue, reduced employee confidence, and the potential loss of client and vendor relationships. Many instances of downtime can be prevented with a thorough, updated, and well-funded business continuity plan. If your organization hasn’t started addressing business continuity in 2019, now is the time to do so.

Always remember that it costs far less to proactively prepare than it does to recover from revenue-losing downtime. With a well-documented and funded business continuity plan, your organization can look forward to a profitable 2019 and years to come.