Participating in DRI courses on disaster recovery and business continuity planning and management is an excellent idea for many organisations, big and… not so big! The principles, techniques and best practices presented in the training show you clearly how to understand and apply the concepts that can make the difference between an enterprise that swims or sinks. Sometimes important points in the courses can benefit from reinforcement, particularly for information that the world in general is still getting up to speed on. For example, understanding the financial impact of data loss, i.e. the value of your organisation’s data, is relevant for everybody concerned with disaster recovery and business continuity.

We can identify four major dimensions for the value of data in an organisation. These are: availability, cost of creation/reconstruction, data loss, and associated reputational value. Understanding the costs associated with each dimension makes it possible to apply disaster recovery and business continuity knowledge even more effectively.

  1. The first dimension of availability or its opposite, downtime, can be evaluated in terms of the time and effort needed to restore missing data, and the loss of productivity for employees who need that data so that they can work properly (salespeople who need to sell, production workers who need to manufacture, etc.).
  2. Data that cannot be recovered must be replaced, which is the second dimension of cost, because of the need to recreate data from records or acquire them from a third party.
  3. If the data cannot be replaced, the cost will be in the blockage of financial transactions or sales, for example. This ‘opportunity cost’ corresponds to the third dimension.
  4. And for the fourth dimension, loss of data can affect the reputation of the organisation, as well as the share price when the organisation is a commercial enterprise.

Examining these different factors can help when deciding priorities in applying what you learn. And, of course, in seeing the return on investment you can get from each DRI training session.