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Why business continuity is a business necessity

Disaster. Every company fears it; no company wants to talk about it.

Of course, disasters come in many different sizes: a security breach, a power outage, or even a major natural disaster like a flood or earthquake. The consequences can be equally diverse. A file server might crash, a server might get knocked out or your entire data centre could go dark.

No matter what the disaster scenario is, one thing is certain: every company will face one at some point, often more than once a year. So, you would think that disaster recovery and business continuity solutions would be one of the first things any company implements. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council recently reported that almost three out of every four companies are failing when it comes to disaster readiness.

Why is this? There are a number of things that stop companies from implementing a disaster recovery solution. But, those fears are now largely unfounded, thanks to disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solutions designed for the public cloud.

Below are the most common fears about DR/BC solutions, and ways public cloud-based DRaaS can make them a thing of the past:

The Fear: Complexity

In the past, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions have involved many moving parts. You either had to maintain complex on-site recovery plans or lock your company in with an expensive colocation provider. Neither are ideal options for many companies.

Almost by definition, DRaaS that leverages the public cloud removes this complexity. You can work with a partner that monitors, tests and manages the solution, removing a stressful task from your IT team. By handling as much of the DR/BC process as you need, you eliminate complexity so you can focus on your core business.

The Fear: Cost

What goes hand-in-hand with complexity? Cost. Ultimately, the complexity of traditional DR/BC solutions lead to high costs, which many businesses just can’t justify. With limited IT resources and an almost endless list of responsibilities, small and midsized companies are particularly at risk.

DRaaS solves this problem by enabling companies to customise a solution, so it fits your needs and your resources. Public cloud-based DRaaS models allow for a pay-as-you-go approach where you choose the scale of DR/BC that your company needs.

The Fear: Company Changes

Businesses aren’t static entities. Where you were last year is different from where you are now, which is different from where you’ll be next year. But a complex DR/BC solution is difficult to modify as you grow.

DRaaS solutions let you define the level of service you need, and let you change it as your company evolves without the management headaches that come with doing it yourself. If your company grows, you can increase your level of protection and do so in an easy and automated fashion.

The Fear: Testing

Frequent and accurate testing is the only way to improve your company’s disaster readiness. But, testing a traditional disaster recovery solution can be almost as painful as a real outage. Think about it, what’s the only real way to test DR? That’s right – realistically simulate a disaster. With traditional solutions, this is a scary proposition.

DRaaS makes it possible to test easily and frequently in an automated way. And we’re not just talking about small monthly cycles. Tests that simulate complete data centre failure are not only possible, but easy to set up and execute.

The Fear: Doing it Alone

The fact of life for many IT departments today is that it’s a struggle just to meet the company’s daily business needs. So, adding a DR/BC solution on top of that, with the monitoring, testing and secondary site maintenance that comes with it feels completely out of scope.

This is where a trusted partner really helps who can provide the know-how you need in cloud computing, hybrid IT, disaster recovery and more to ease your transition to DR/BC in the cloud.

The Fear: Getting back up and running

When an outage occurs, for whatever reason, the number one goal is to get back up and running quickly.

Public cloud-based disaster recovery and business continuity takes advantage of the fact that large workloads and data sets are already stored in the public cloud. This means they can be brought online quickly to help your business recover. And, unlike expensive outsourced DR/BC solutions, you can run almost indefinitely in the public cloud as you investigate the outage’s cause. This allows you to chose a time to migrate your data back on-premise – over a weekend, on a holiday – that works for your business.

It’s true that disaster recovery and business continuity hasn’t always been the easiest technology to deal with. But, we all know it’s a critical piece for every business.

By removing the major fears associated with DR/BC, public cloud-based DRaaS options enable any company to implement a solution to protect yourself from whatever outage scenario comes your way.

Lynn LeBlanc, CEO and founder of HotLink Corporation

Image source: Shutterstock/Tom Wang