If Someone Suggests That You Could Save Money By Not Taking Out Fire Insurance On Your Business Premises, You Would Probably Laugh At Such Foolish Advice.
Every Business Needs A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) To Prepare Them For Situations When Communications Disruptions And Loss Of Vital Data Occur.
True, there is no way you are ever going to be able to prevent events beyond your control occurring, but there is a great deal you can do to ensure that when disaster occurs you can quickly resume normal trading operations.
The problem with equipment failures and power supply disruptions is that they have a habit of occurring at the most inconvenient times!
Imagine your feelings if the line goes down in the middle of a conversation with a major customer, or when you need to communicate some vital information to your sales team.
Unfortunately, the crucial importance of these media is only realized when they suddenly fail.
The damage caused by hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, or even last winter’s heavy snow storms in the northeastern USA, provides many lessons on the risks of depending on traditional telephone (PBX) systems.
No business executive should leave themselves exposed to damage on the scale described by Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Paul McHale. Speaking of Hurricane Katrina McHale described how:
“…the magnitude of the storm was such that the local communications system wasn’t simply degraded; it was, at least for a period of time, destroyed.”
Fortunately modern communications technology provide advanced DRP (Disaster Recovery Programs) solutions well-suited to the specific needs of small and medium businesses.
This paper examines one of the most exciting DRP developments of the last few years – cloud-computing disaster recovery.
Ninety Percent of business executives cannot be wrong
“…almost three-fourths indicate their companies have piloted, adopted or substantially implemented cloud in their organizations – and 90% expect to have done so in three years.” (see www.forbes.com)
This massive vote of confidence in the power of cloud-computing demands explanation, but first a little introduction is in order for those who are not so familiar with the basic concepts.
A full range of voice, video, data communications, data storage, data backup and many other essential business services can now be provided via a virtual, Web-based structure — the cloud.
As the name implies, cloud computing delivers all the advantages of a highly flexible and easily expandable service package combined with smooth integration with existing business systems.
There are considerable cost savings, for example, through eliminating the need for investing in fixed equipment, cutting software licensing costs, and offering new outsourcing possibilities.
These cost savings are sufficient reason for small and medium businesses to seriously investigate transferring their communications and data-storage to a cloud-based system.
When you take into account the DRP benefits, the case for cloud-computing becomes that much more compelling.
A DRP Cloud Nine?
Nobody is going to be delighted when disaster strikes even if they have the most sophisticated and solid DRP in place.
Nevertheless, there is comfort in knowing that you have found an easily affordable technological solution to restore communications and data with a speed that cannot be matched by systems dependent on fixed-equipment.
The longer your business is out of communication with employees and customers, and the more time it takes to recover lost vital data, the greater your losses.
Besides the obvious loss of profits caused by interruptions to production, the damage to customer relationships can be of serious proportions.
It is impossible to overstress the gains of having available a cloud DRP solution that can put you back into communications and replace lost data in minutes as opposed to hours, days or even weeks in a worse case scenario.
How Cloud Computing Saves the Day
To fully appreciate the cloud communications technology offering for small and medium businesses, consider some of the key features supporting rapid disaster recovery at a price that is not going to send your bank manager into a panic:
- Remote Communications Access — if your PBX goes down, you can transfer calls via the cloud to mobile phone networks and VoIP services. This ensures you stay in contact with all your key personnel and customers.
- Safeguarding data integrity — data and applications are stored in a virtual data center with data backups instantaneously available. Economical Data Storage — you only have to pay for backup data storage. You do not need to pay for the hours when the server is not in operation, and you also save the expenses of maintaining spare hardware.
- Flexible DRP Implementation — cloud computing delivers the flexibility to make intelligent resource allocation when disaster strikes. For example, you can ensure that key systems receive the resources they need to continue running with these resources diverted from less essential uses.
Businesses Vote with their Feet
The 2012 AT&T Business Continuity Study surveyed a range of Texas business executives on their attitudes to cloud-computing, and their interest in incorporating it in their DRP.
The survey results revealed that:
“54% of Texas executives indicated cloud computing is currently part of their corporate infrastructure. One out of seven (15%) plans to invest in cloud computing in 2012.”
Furthermore, of the executives surveyed:
“59% are using or considering using cloud services to augment their business continuity recovery strategy.
Most frequently, cloud computing would be used for data storage (45%), Web servers (36%), application servers (36%) and database (36%).”
Evidentially an increasing number of businesses are taking note of the potential damage they face from national disasters, computer failure, human errors and criminal acts and the host of other factors that cause unexpected and costly business interruptions.
Growing interest in DRP solutions are a clear indication of the stress now placed on taking effective preventative measures to allow business to keep running in emergency situations.
Among the range of DRP options, cloud-based solutions emerge as a strong favorite.
This trend is clearly revealed in a number of prestigious studies.
Perhaps now is the time for you to consider how a cloud DRP solution might provide the superior level of protection your business communications and data integrity deserves.
For more information and help with your DRP, you can contact us at 866-532-7653