Behind the Cloud is a Storm: How CFOs Should Prepare for IT Disaster Recovery

Image via Flickr by kei51

New technologies such as Cloud provide exciting opportunities for organizations in any industry. Not only do they improve workflow processes, but these technologies boost efficiency and productivity as well. Coupled with increasing worker productivity, technology gives businesses critical systems from which they can greatly benefit.

Now, when a new technology such as Cloud is implemented into the workflow process, it’s typical for the IT department to ask questions such as:

  • What are our back-up options?
  • How can we recover lost data in the event of a system failure?
  • What’s the process to build redundancy into the network?

However, these questions shouldn’t be exclusive to the IT department alone. CFOs should also be concerned about the technological performance in their company, as a system failure ultimately results in lost money.

With data showing that nearly 90 percent of companies will experience some form of system failures within 5 years of that new technology being implemented, it’s clear that time must be spent preparing for an IT disaster. It gets even clearer, though, when you consider that half of those companies that lose their data take up to a decade to recover. In fact, the damage is so bad that a company can lose up to 1 point of market value for every day that their system is down. So preparing for IT disaster recovery shouldn’t be an option or a want – it’s a need.

Questions that CFOs should ask as they prepare include, but are not limited to:

  • Do we fully understand the financial impact of downtime? Unless the impact is anticipated, it will be hard to prepare for it. Even if a technological application doesn’t have a financial impact in terms of revenue loss, complications with payroll applications, compensation insurance, etc., can cause major headaches and wastes in resources.
  • Do our analyses evolve with directional change? Today’s marketplace moves faster than every climate before it. CFOs must ensure that the IT department is shifting as the business makes directional changes.
  • Do we understand the costs and hidden costs? A recovery strategy isn’t going to be free, even if you insource it. By working to understand the costs of disaster recovery, an extra fund or budget allowance can be made in the event of a technological storm brewing behind the “Cloud.”