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Downed systems cost companies money. Here are some points to consider when trying to cost-justify a disaster- recovery system.

Impact of an outage How to estimate loss

Lost productivity
(hard dollars)
Multiply the average hourly wage of all employees impacted by a disaster by the total number of employees idled by the length of the outage. 

Lost work
(hard dollars)
If the data from a completed experiment is lost, multiply the hours required to redo the experiment by the number of employees who conducted the experiment times the average hourly wage for these employees. 

Restoration costs
(hard dollars)
Multiply the average hourly wage of the IT staff restoring the systems by the number of staff members performing the restoration times the hours to complete it. 

Lost revenue
(hard dollars)
If your company manufactures drugs and you cannot fulfill orders, multiply the revenue each drug brings in per day by the number of days of the outage. 

Customer/Investor confidence
(soft dollars)
Hard to calculate, but take into account customer and investor reaction if company cannot quickly recover from a disaster. 

Contractual commitments
(possible hard dollars)
Check contracts with business partners to see if there are any penalties for failing to meet contractual commitments. 

Source: Bio·IT World

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