Cloud Services Can Improve Disaster Recovery Stance
Businesses need to be prepared for any emergency, regardless of whether those incidents stem from employee or malicious outsider activity or some kind of natural phenomenon. Building a comprehensive disaster recovery initiative can help organizations of all sizes take the steps they need to ensure operations can continue to run smoothly in the wake of an emergency. The diverse IT landscape, however, has created some major misconceptions about some of the IT services that have an opportunity to play a critical role in the restoration of mission-critical processes.
Cloud computing is one such technology. While the cloud can offer organizations a number of benefits in the wake of a disaster, including the ability to keep a remote workforce connected to colleagues and crucial applications, many firms are still caught up with some of the solution's incorrect characteristics, namely security. When the cloud first emerged, decision-makers believed that migrating resources to an off-site environment was dangerous and posed a number of complications, as employees would surely lose control and privacy over such content. The truth is that the opposite is true.
Cloud solutions, especially those incorporated into disaster recovery initiatives, are generally more resilient and secure than conventional premise-based architectures. A recent Logicalis report highlighted how CIOs and other decision-makers should take the time to understand their specific objectives for disaster recovery and seek solutions that align with those capabilities, rather than simply neglecting the cloud because of prior misconceptions.
Although cloud security is generally considered to be more sophisticated and progressive than traditional solutions, there is no one-size-fits-all, Logicalis noted. This means that decision-makers must identify their firms' specific compliance, location and recovery-time needs if they want to embrace the most effective business continuity strategy.
"As customers move to a converged infrastructure, the options for data protection and disaster recovery services expand beyond the traditional models associated with component-based architectures. One of the key options with converged infrastructure is utilization of the cloud as a means to protect and back up the environment," said Brandon Harris, vice president of HP Solutions at Logicalis US.
Logicalis highlighted how Disaster Recovery as a Service (DraaS) is becoming increasingly important as the threat landscape evolves and organizations find themselves battling a growing number of challenges that could lead to unexpected downtime. If these incidents are not planned for and addressed ahead of time, companies could face substantial problems in the long run, including revenue losses and unhappy customers who feel no loyalties that would otherwise prevent them from seeking out a competing business.
Disaster Recovery Must Be Prioritized
Logicalis stated that hoping for the best is no longer a functional strategy, comparing business operations to a living nervous system, noting that one small failure can lead to substantial problems elsewhere. Decision-makers need to understand that contact center procedures are just as important as the processes that happen in the sales department. If companies prioritize one over the other, they will not be able to maintain functionality in the wake of an emergency.
Business continuity programs are especially important among small and medium-sized companies, though many organizations often encounter challenges when trying to deploy innovative strategies. A recent Spiceworks study of more than 1,000 small firms highlighted this phenomenon, noting that roughly one-third of respondents said their current backup approaches are not effective. As for disaster recovery, 42 percent of decision-makers said their plans fall short from where they need to be. This is largely because smaller firms are stuck in the past and continue to use premise-based services, which do not offer the same capabilities as cloud-enabled initiatives.
"While small and mid-sized businesses recognize the importance of having a data protection and recovery plan, many are using on-premise hardware that leaves them vulnerable to data loss from device failure, performing manual backups infrequently or on-premise problems that affect both the original copy and backups, such as power surges, natural disasters or theft. Cloud backup solutions are an affordable alternative that are simple to manage, secure and reliable and easily scalable as a business grows," said Piyum Samaraweera, director of product management at Carbonite.
Companies should consider implementing a cloud infrastructure to support numerous advanced operations and processes, including the ability to improve application and data resiliency. Organizations that leverage the cloud will likely be able to implement more comprehensive disaster recovery and continuity initiatives that will give them the power to quickly restore critical resources in the wake of an emergency. This is especially important in today's highly competitive business world that encourages consumers to ditch any loyalties and seek out another company if their current provider isn't sufficient.
As the threat landscape evolves, it is important that enterprises do not think the cloud is invulnerable. While the hosted services are often more secure than conventional solutions, decision-makers must still build recovery plans that can give employees the power to remain operational, regardless of uncontrollable external circumstances.