How to Sell DR to Senior Management

As the saying goes, a disaster isn't a matter of if –— it's a matter of when. Sure, it may sound like a clever marketing slogan, but ask any IT professional, and they will attest that this statement is as true as the sky is blue. The funny thing about disasters is they don't discriminate. They have the potential to stall the operations of companies small and large alike. Just ask Amazon. The collective internet shopping community was chomping at the bit to take advantage of Prime Day 2018. Amazon designed this one-day extravaganza to treat customers to a bundle of exclusive deals across the store. Unfortunately, things got off to a rocky start as the site crashed shortly after the event began due to heavy traffic. Although Prime Day was ultimately a financial success, many customers had to endure to slow loading times, shopping cart errors, and other issues while trying to navigate all the great deals. Amazon's Prime Day debacle is more evidence that Mother Nature's fury isn't the only culprit behind unplanned downtime. Whether it's due to a security breach, hardware failure, or employee mishap, outages have many causes –— and a single incident can spell disaster for your business. The ever-looming threat of excessive downtime is plenty motivation to convince senior management to think beyond just backing up and invest in a professional disaster recovery (DR) solution. We're here to help you make a compelling case.

Define Disaster Recovery

One of the biggest challenges in presenting your case may be schooling C-suite executives on the differences between data backup and disaster recovery. While both aim to protect your data, they are not one in the same. At the core, a backup plan entails creating copies of your data to make available should the original data sets be compromised. According to the general rule of thumb, backups offer the best protection when stored in the cloud or another secondary environment. Advances in backup software ensure that the process is effective and simple enough. However, merely having access to your data isn't always enough to guarantee a swift and full recovery. Disaster recovery, on the other hand, is configured for larger scale data protection initiatives. Perhaps the most significant differentiation lies in the fact that DR covers all the bases necessary to get your systems back and running. This includes creating copies of your data as well as defining recovery objectives, coordinating response efforts among staff, and testing those backups to ensure they can be recovered. Think of it like this: backup is just one of several components that round out a complete disaster recovery plan.

Underscore the Impact of Disaster

If drawing a line between backup and DR is your biggest challenge, then explaining the potential impact of disaster might be the most important. This is where you want to emphasize the financial implications. In an earlier post, Uncovering the Hidden Cost of Disaster, we provide a straightforward example on how to calculate potential losses based on staff earnings, resource availability, and loss of production. Not to be forgotten are the intangibles; reputation damage and customers who could abandon ship if an incident affects their data or quality of service. These are vital points and driving them home with clarity is critical to making your case.

Highlight the Impact of Disaster Recovery

Selling DR to the higher-ups doesn't have to be all gloom and doom. For instance, with the right execution, it's an investment that could increase revenue and better overall business performance. The longer you stay up and running, the more opportunities you have to flourish as an organization. On that note, flourishing calls for more than merely keeping your systems online. Staff needs a way to collaborate internally, and communicate on the customer end. Meanwhile, high-ranking executives need visibility into every aspect of the process. A comprehensive DR solution can provide these assurances and more.

Close Strong

If you have a particular DR solution in mind, be prepared to pitch it in your closing argument. IT managers must justify the costs in order to convince key decision makers to make additional investments in any technology. From self-service offerings to fully managed solutions, there is a wide variety of options at your disposal. It's all about finding the right match. Do your homework so you can better understand what prospective DR providers have to offer in the way costs, features, and support. This insight goes a long way in making your case in terms head honchos can understand. While disaster recovery is essential, business leaders rarely ever green-light new initiatives without a clear understanding of what they're getting into. After all, every organization has a budget to honor. A concise breakdown of potential threats, costs, and benefits of a professional DR solution will make your pitch that much more effective.