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For most businesses, email is their No.1 communication tool. Being without it for an extended period of time is simply not an option. Not having email access is akin to missing a vital organ.

Without it, communications grind to a halt. Productivity suffers. Deals don’t cross the line. Brand reputation is threatened. Important stakeholders are left out in the dark. Emails bounce and often never get delivered.

An email outage won’t happen to my business

Statistically speaking, your company is more than likely to experience downtime from an email outage in the next year. Recent research from Dell shows that any given company has a 72 percent chance of experiencing an unplanned email outage in any year. You also have a 24 percent chance of needing to perform a planned outage.

Can you cope without email?

Being without email for a few hours is probably no biggie for the majority of businesses – profitability might not be affected in such a short space of time. However, you might be surprised to discover that the average email outage lasts beyond 24 hours. In fact, an IBM survey found the average length to be 32.1 hours.

Network disruptions for that length of time can result in productivity losses and can be detrimental to profitability.

The little known way to guarantee your team always has email access

Despite the reality of network issues and downtime, roughly only a third of small businesses have a solution in place to negate the effects of an outage. This lack of continuity or a disaster plan can be put down to a lack of awareness by business owners. After all, hugely successful business people might not have IT backgrounds.

Next time you suffer downtime, you don’t need to just grin and bear it – a continuity solution can guarantee your team are never without email.

How email continuity works

Although continuity solutions vary depending on the provider, they generally work in a similar fashion, as follows:

  1. An email outage occurs.
  2. Your email is automatically spooled so they don’t bounce (making outages invisible to the outside world).
  3. Once you become aware of the outage, you direct your team to a web address where they can access their inboxes and continue their work as usual (with recent email history to know what their most pressing issues are).
  4. When your mail server is restored, you revert back to your normal email client
  5. All email traffic that would otherwise have bounced is forwarded to your mail client

Email continuity and disaster recovery: do the maths

Borrowing the stats from earlier, it’s easy to see why businesses investigate continuity to ensure productivity and protect profitability. When you get down to the finer details, the business case becomes even more compelling.

A week’s worth of email continuity for seven businesses users starts at the same price as a cup of coffee.

Business owners should weigh up the question: what is uninterrupted email access worth to my business?

What do you think?

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David Siddall

David Siddall

David Siddall works at <a href="http://mailguard.com.au/?utm_source=dbforum&amp;utm_medium=post&amp;utm_campaign=dbblogging">MailGuard</a> – the world’s leading independent cloud security provider since 2001. He communicates the benefits of <a href="http://mailguard.com.au/?utm_source=dbforum&amp;utm_medium=post&amp;utm_campaign=dbblogging">email and web security</a> to businesses every day.

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