How to Tell Which Workgroup Recovery Option is Right for You

You’re sitting in your office with your fellow employees when all of a sudden it happens – the power goes out. Every computer, printer, phone, server, and light goes out at once, leaving you in complete technical (and literal) darkness.

You’re annoyed but not worried, because your building has backup generators. A few minutes later, they fail to start running. Just like the electrical grid, generators also fail, leaving you in the dark when they were most needed.

Now what?

The Consequences of Downtime

Every single minute that you can’t access your work, you’re losing money. This period of device and service inaccessibility is known as downtime, and downtime costs small businesses up to $8,600 per hour.

If that isn’t scary enough, consider that 54% of companies report they have experienced downtime from a single event, lasting more than 8 hours. In other words, you’re looking at an average cost of almost $70,000 for a single, small downtime event.

But that’s only if you’re a small business. The costs increase wildly for medium and large businesses.

So how can you avoid this pesky downtime? The answer is simple – plan ahead and protect yourself. If you leave your organization’s future to the mercy of disasters and errors, you’re risking everything for nothing.

Plan Ahead with Workgroup Recovery Options

A workgroup recovery plan is the set of policies and practices that get your core group of workers (hence, workgroup) up and running on the road to recovery in the face of a downtime event.

Implementing a sound workgroup recovery plan before disaster strikes is the key to minimizing downtime and all the costs related to it. Think of it this way – you spend a little now to save a lot (and possibly all) later.

In short, it’s a smart investment for the future of your organization.

There’s seldom a one-size-fits-all approach to it. Each business operates differently, which means each business recovers differently too. When it comes to workgroup recovery options, there’s no shortage of what you can choose from.

We’ve developed a short list of 5 distinctly different, yet complimentary, recovery options. Let’s take a look at them.

Option 1: A Shared Space

The shared space option is great for having a recovery option without breaking the bank. Simply redirect your employees to the recovery center and execute your recovery process.

The workplace recovery centers come equipped with all the basics that a company would need for a temporary worksite, including office space, desktop PCs, phones, Internet, printers, etc. Some of the higher end services will also provide amenities such as a cafe, a gym with showers and nearby hotels for hosting workers displaced from their homes. Since shared workplace recovery spaces are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis, you might be required to share the space with other companies affected by the disaster. If you’re the only company affected by the disaster, you might have the entire place to yourselves.

If you’re concerned with not having access to all of your seats, adding in Workplace Anywhere seats will ensure you have access to 100% of your seats, whenever needed.

Option 2: A Shared Space with Commitments

If you’re looking for the same coverage as the shared space with the added benefit of committed seating, look no further.

When disaster strikes, you’ll have access to a committed percentage of your seats. With this workgroup recovery option, you’ll have the committed number of seats available within the hour, and can use the Workplace Anywhere service to provide recovery for the remaining employees, if the disaster is determined to have a long term effect on your primary workplace.

Having the committed seats for your core team and the Workplace Anywhere seats for other critical staff means your operations won’t be halted and you won’t suffer from extended periods of downtime.

Option 3: A Dedicated Space

For midsized to large companies who require an immediate level of workgroup recovery, with recovery times measured in minutes, you’ll want to consider dedicated workgroup recovery seats for a portion of your staff.

A dedicated workgroup gives you access to as many seats and suites as you see fit, so costs typically scale with size. These locations will be completely customized to your recovery needs and unlike the shared options, you won’t have to worry about needing to reserve a location or rush to get to it – it will be there for you, and only you, whenever you need it.

Option 4: A Dynamic Space

To get the most flexibility at the most economic level, companies should turn to the Workgroup Dynamic option. Dynamic options give your organization similar financial expenditures as the shared workgroup, but with the added benefit of giving you access to locations throughout a region.

In the shared workgroup, you have access to one physical location. When it’s full, it’s full. With the dynamic option, you’ll have access to workgroup locations throughout the region.

In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re the only one suffering from downtime or if you’re one of the many. You’ll always find a space to get back up and running.

Option 5: An “Anywhere” Space

With the Workplace Anywhere option, you’ve got the power to recover from – you guessed it – anywhere.

This service allows you to select the recovery location at time of disaster, at which point the recovery assets are mobilized and configured, on demand. In a regional event, where the shared locations have been fully occupied, or worse, your dedicated space has also been affected, this option will get you back in business, no matter what.

These recoveries are often performed in brick-and-mortar workspace but also have the flexibility of being performed in mobile recovery units, miles outside of the affected region, or right in your parking lot. It might also mean having a custom-built workspace that can be set up anywhere, complete with generators and satellite internet for maximum mobility.

This workgroup recovery option offers the highest versatility of all. It’s best suited for organizations that can’t afford downtime and don’t need to be back up and running within the hour.

Which Option is Best for You?

In the end, the best course of action is to set Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) for each department within your organization and choose the services that best meet your RTOs and budget. For small to midsized firms, a simple discussion between management and an analysis of your financials will help you determine how downtime will affect your business income, cash flow and reputation. Larger companies will often have us perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA), to quantify the exact ramifications of downtime to their business and brand name.

From there, you must create a recovery time objective (RTO). This RTO can be as stringent or as lax as you’d like it to be. You must take into consideration both what you can and can’t afford. Remember, workgroup recovery options and their costs are flexible and dynamic – downtime and operational damage are not.

For the best possible success, you should partner with a disaster recovery expert that provides the full range of workplace recovery services – that’s us. Continuity Centers has been helping businesses recover from disasters since 1999. We can help you choose the plan that makes the most sense for you, as well as implementing that plan.

Don’t let disasters bring your business to a halt. Plan ahead with us and we can make sure you’re always ready to go, no matter what.