If a hurricane strikes your business and your IT environment is not properly prepared, you could lose critical pieces of your company. A serious weather event could cost your business exponentially in both physical and non-physical losses.
How much can a hurricane cost your business in physical equipment?
You could lose thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in physical equipment, depending on the size of your business.
“Physical equipment refers to servers, IT equipment, network equipment, external hard drives, expensive electronics, etcetera,” explains Jason Monroe, Director of Solution Consulting at Bit-Wizards.
On a very small scale, Monroe says low end computers can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, while more specialized computers could be $2,000 to $5,000.
“It really varies, but at the very least, let’s say you go to Walmart for the cheapest deal, and you only have ten employees,” says Monroe. “So, you buy ten $500 computers for your business. Let’s say that’s the only physical equipment you have. If you leave those computers unprotected during a natural disaster and they get wiped out, you just lost $5,000 in physical equipment.”
How much can non-physical losses cost your business if a hurricane strikes?
Even more costly than physical equipment could be the loss of your data.
“That data could be critical documents for your business. It could be financial data or proprietary data that you’ve spent years creating,” explains Monroe. “If a storm hits and that data is not properly backed up, it’s just gone.”
25% of businesses fail to reopen after a disaster. That means 1 in 4 businesses close their doors forever. Monroe says data loss can play a major role in that.
“At the max, data loss could cost you your business,” says Monroe. “And you likely won’t even have your existing client base to start over with. If a client needs information and you aren’t able to give it to them because you didn’t take the proper precautions, why would they continue to do business with you? That’s another aspect of non-physical losses. Your reputation.”
How much can a storm cost your business in downtime?
Monroe says most business owners can figure this out based on their KPIs (key performance indicators).
“There’s an equation out there for this,” he explains. “Let’s say you make a million dollars in gross revenue per year. Divide that number by 12 and then divide that number by 30. That will tell you how much money you’ll lose each day you’re down due to a disaster.”
Monroe says you can think of downtime as your business being closed.
“If your business is closed and you’re not able to work, then you’re not making any money,” he says. “If you’re a lawyer and you’re billing $200 an hour, and let’s say you work 10-hour days, you just lost $2,000 if you’re down for a day.”
What can you do to prevent financial loss in the event of a hurricane?
Monroe says your business should be operating in the cloud.
“And not just a backup to the cloud. You need to have your documents accessible on the cloud at any time, by anyone you authorize,” he says. “You and your employees should be using something like OneDrive so you can access documents from your phones, your iPads, or your laptops if need be.”
Monroe also says your data needs to be backed up somewhere other than on-site.
“Cloud accessible drives, like OneDrive, backup to SharePoint and then SharePoint backs it up automatically,” he explains. “So, cloud accessible data and cloud backups are critical. If you have those right there, it doesn’t matter what you lose in a storm. If your building is washed away, including all your equipment, as long as you have those two things, you can continue to work and not lose revenue.”
Hiring a managed IT services provider like Bit-Wizards can help prepare your business for a hurricane and make sure you don’t lose money.
“It’s a turnkey solution,” says Monroe. “Bit-Wizards will come in and over the course of our onboarding, we’ll take your business and transform it from a local only business to a cloud business.”
Monroe says that’s the biggest part of a business continuity and disaster recovery plan when it comes to IT.
“You don’t have to worry about setting anything up correctly or which employees get access to what,” says Monroe. “We’re gonna set everything up for you and train you on how to use everything. We’ll also help you build a business continuity and disaster recovery plan that accounts for things like protecting your physical equipment, working remotely, and having proper backups in place.”
Ready to ensure that your business’ IT is properly prepared for a storm, so you don’t lose money when a hurricane strikes? Learn more about our services and get in touch.