In today's highly competitive business world, decision-makers should take James Bond's mantra "you only live twice" with a grain of salt and develop robust disaster recovery programs to ensure they can survive to see another day. Because data, enterprise VoIP services and other applications are crucial to both the short- and long-term success of an organization, executives are beginning to incorporate the cloud into their continuity efforts.
A recent Computer Weekly and TechTarget survey of approximately 1,300 IT professionals revealed that the majority of respondents believe the cloud will experience a significant boost in adoption rates, driven largely by the ongoing demand to incorporate the technology into disaster recovery initiatives. In fact, more than 28 percent of IT executives said they will use the cloud for disaster recovery within the next six months, up from about 18 percent that do so now.
Computer Weekly noted that Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is defined as an allotment of processes provided by a trusted third party that will help organizations establish and use an effective business continuity program. Although many companies intend to use this and other cloud services to enhance recovery endeavors, only 43 percent of respondents said they are able to successfully restore mission-critical assets in the wake of an emergency. Furthermore, 25 percent said they have tested their projects to ensure they work.
If enterprises want to successfully use the cloud to restore business phone systems, communications and mission-critical information needed to continue operating at a reasonable level, decision-makers need to take initiative to ensure strategies are planned and carried out well. Neglecting this process will only make it more difficult for companies, regardless of their size, to see light on the other side of the tunnel.
Cloud disaster recovery benefits
Given the unpredictable attributes of natural and man-made disasters, cloud-based recovery initiatives have acquired a new sense of resilience, giving decision-makers across the private sector more confidence in developing these programs. An InformationWeek report highlighted the benefits of using cloud-enabled continuity plans, noting that they can give smaller firms an edge over larger competitors, as well as providing enterprises with the means to ensure large volumes of resources are easily accessible in the wake of an emergency.
InformationWeek said the security of cloud disaster recovery programs is often the top reason for implementing it, followed closely by the technology's ability to keep mission-critical assets performing up to par. This is especially important in the contact center, which is required to be up 24/7, regardless of external circumstances. When cloud continuity efforts incorporate communication and collaboration tools in the recovery aspect of the program, companies can be sure representatives are able to speak with clients at all times.
The report noted that approximately 48 percent of companies are either leveraging or considering using cloud-based technologies to restore mission-critical applications in the event of a disaster. This suggests that collaborative tools needed to support a remote workforce, which most companies back in a post-disaster environment, are incorporated into a recovery program, ensuring fundamental activities can be carried out efficiently.
In the coming years, decision-makers will increasingly resort to using the cloud for more operations than ever before, giving companies of all sectors new opportunities to enhance long-term survival endeavors. By planning ahead and working with a trusted service provider, executives can incorporate communications and other mission-critical technologies into their overall continuity efforts, giving them a leg up over firms that have no plans in place and are unprepared for the unforgiving and unpredictable wrath of Mother Nature and cybercriminals.