An analyst once told me that not having a disaster recovery or business continuity plan is a bit like having unprotected sex: you may not feel the need to protect your assets at the time, but the consequences could be catastrophic further down the line if you don't.
Often, companies realise the need to plan for disaster recovery only when it is too late.
Analysts report that firms which have suffered a major disaster or disruption to their business sometimes have difficulty trading for many years afterwards. Others may suffer total business failure.
The millennium bug scare pushed awareness of the need for disaster recovery up company agendas, and now the events of 11 September have changed the way auditors and insurance companies view future risk.
Increasingly, insurance companies will be asking firms about their business continuity plans.
If you have a disaster recovery plan, your premiums could fall significantly; if you haven't, you could see your premiums soar.
That is why many firms in the US are now looking to employ a chief risk officer (CRO) who will ensure that they have adequate safety measures in place.
However, while big corporations can usually afford a CRO, most smaller enterprises probably think that implementing a disaster recovery plan entails paying a large sum of money to some Armani-suited salesman from a big-name consultancy firm.
They may be acutely aware of the dangers of not having such a plan, but they may not have the first idea how to draw one up or what services and companies they will need to help them in a crisis.
This provides a golden opportunity for resellers which can help end-users lower their insurance premiums by identifying risk and then selling the products, consultancy and services that create a leak-proof contingency plan.
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