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The importance of 15 minutes for business continuity

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In the Always-On enterprise, every minute of work is focused on being more efficient and profitable than a competitor. This sees any failure or unavailability of data becoming a real problem that must be eliminated as soon as possible, writes Claude Schuck, regional manager for Africa at Veeam.
Every failure is tantamount to a loss of time, representing a different value for the individual and for the business. In daily life, 15 minutes can easily be overlooked but in the enterprise space, the situation is much more serious. What might feel like a relatively small amount of downtime can have significant repercussions for the organisation.
One of the most illustrative examples of this is in the financial world, where every second lost can cost millions of rands. This world of fast figures means that the smallest of errors, which halts work for even a short amount of time, can not only separate success from failure but also have irreversible consequences.
According to the 2016 Veeam Availability Report, it takes most backup vendors almost three hours to recover mission-critical applications in the event of a failure. From its side, Veeam commits to getting businesses up and running in less than 15 minutes in the event of a failure.
Given that almost half of the workloads of many organisations fall in the mission-critical category, any data failure has the potential to significantly impact the reputation and financial bottom-line of an organisation. Such levels of downtime pose a global threat to an increasing number of companies.
Failures in IT systems can happen to anyone so enterprises must be able to quickly recover data and return to work. More importantly, an Always-On enterprise cannot afford to stop providing services for even a minute.
The report also found that only two percent of respondents report that they would not expect non-financial impact to their organisation because of downtime. Many (68 percent) feel that this will result in loss of customer confidence and 62 percent say it will damage the brand of the organisation.

The connected business
Today, more enterprises have to provide their services to customers around the clock. In some instances, this is the only business model that is acceptable. For example, when it comes to IT, enterprises that ignore this requirement will risk seeing their competitors capitalise and taking away their success.
Of course, large international IT enterprises are well-protected and able to withstand some degree of downtime. For smaller businesses, it is not necessarily about ensuring continuous data availability but rather the speed of recovery. Such a difference in focus could result in more downtime as a result.
The impact this has on the bottom-line, even though not evident at first, could significantly threaten the longevity of the entire business.The report shows that 84% of respondents recognise the problem of the availability gap and that existing IT resources must be improved to achieve recovery time to the golden 15-minute mark.
If enterprises succeed in upgrading the storage and use of technology in modern software in a timely manner, they are able to meet all the requirements of modern business and become an Always-On enterprise. They must be aware that it does not matter how many people work in the company or what its revenue is, success can only be achieved by strategically investing in the development of IT infrastructure.
The use of modern technologies has provided businesses with opportunities to deliver quality services to customers. Embracing these innovative solutions is the only way any company can guarantee that, in the event of a failure, the recovery of even critical applications will take no longer than 15 minutes.
For some, this signifies the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. For the Always-On enterprise, 15 minutes represents an opportunity to make millions.