With technology critical to all organizations no matter their size, both profit and non-profit leaders are betting their company’s life on having the right systems in place at the right time. Some leaders look at technology as a mere accounting expense. Although one does not need to be a CPA to manage an organization’s finances, a basic understanding of the concepts is required to make sound financial decisions for the business. When it comes to technology the same applies in order to make informed decisions on the IT budget. For example, a basic understanding of data storage is important when projecting costs related to backup and recovery in case of a disaster.
As would be expected, storage requirements and protection of the data can range widely in price depending on the vertical market of the company (see Gartner IT spending forecast for 2013 below*). For instance, data storage needs differ greatly between a bank and a non-profit. In the former, high-availability storage is needed for fast access to critical data so speed and performance with absolutely no down time is imperative (requiring a higher investment); in the latter, stored data may be less critical and thus can be backed up on less expensive media with longer intervals between full backups.
Knowing the risk of data loss and weighing that against the investment in appropriate computer hardware and software is also critical. One just needs to look at the damage inflicted upon the telecommunications industry following Hurricane Sandy in 2012**. A lack of investment in infrastructure was to blame for widespread outages. The damage hammered the credibilty and was a financial blow to telecom providers; even spuring an FCC inquiry***. Despite this, and other natural as well as man-made disasters, many businesses are still not implementing disaster recovery plans to ensure business continuity.
One way to get on track is to do disaster recovery and business continuity prepartion audit. Many of my company’s partners can provide this service and I am happy to refer you – please email me here at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can be of assistance.
* IT Spending To See Modest Growth In 2013, Informationweek, January 04, 2013.
**Looking beyond Hurricane Sandy, CounterPunch.org, November 15, 2012.
*** FCC holds Hurricane Sandy hearings into telecom failures, fixes, NJ.com, February 05, 2013.