The impact of natural
    disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other storms,
    on our very lives and that of our businesses should not be taken lightly.
    Superstorm Sandy, which battered the Eastern seaboard of the US this past
    October, is already being blamed for an estimated 62 billion dollars worth of
    damage, second only to the loss inflicted by 2005's Hurricane Katrina. Affecting
    millions of households and businesses, Sandy shut down cities along the
    Northeast, mass transit systems and even the New York Stock Exchange. This
    particular storm, in fact, hit pretty close to home, forcing the cancellation
    of our annual conference, the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum, as well.


    The debilitating costs in
    the wake of natural disasters are certainly not dissipating but are only
    rising. In 2011, the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters
    reported that the economic damages were the highest ever, estimating it at 366.1
    billion dollars globally
    . For those businesses without structured disaster
    recovery planning, every hour of downtime could potentially close your doors
    permanently, with Strategic Research estimating the cost at $90,000 per hour. "Access to information is critical to
    successful disaster risk management, "says Margareta Wahlström, the
    United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster
    Risk Reduction. "You cannot manage
    what you cannot measure."


    With
    so much at stake, it is not surprising that enterprises are looking towards investing
    in their internal IT infrastructures to
    bolster their disaster recovery strategies. In fact, Gartner reports "55% of their respondents are currently in the throes of a
    disaster recovery modernization project, with nearly 87% of respondents
    targeting recovery time objectives (RTOs) of four hours or less
    for
    mission-critical applications and services." Yet, many companies continue to
    struggle to justify the cost of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan
    within tight budgetary constraints along with the
    associated complexities of business continuity planning.






    "Access to information is critical to
    successful disaster risk management. You cannot manage
    what you cannot measure."
    -Margareta Wahlström, the
    United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster
    Risk Reduction







    Executives must balance all enterprise strategies with their
    core competencies, as they struggle to get the most of their investments.
    Unanticipated costs, damaging downtime and lack of preparedness can spell
    disaster. Focusing on enterprise-wide document management strategies has never
    been more imperative for continued success. Just like many businesses in the
    Northeast, we are determined to offer you the services you depend on from us. I
    hope to see you once again next year at the 2013 DOCUMENT Strategy Forum in
    Greenwich, Connecticut, April 29-May 1, where we will once again deliver the
    best strategies for managing your customer communications. I hope that you find
    the management articles in our latest issue to be a stepping stone into the New
    Year.


    Until
    next time,


     


    ALLISON LLOYD is the editor of DOCUMENT, the dedicated document management portal for executives, directors and managers involved with the management, strategy, creation and delivery of communications in B2C environments. She leads the editorial direction for all DOCUMENT Media outlets, including its magazine, website, newsletter and event. Ms. Lloyd is a thought leader and expert in the transactional and customer communications industry.