No organization is immune from the threat of operational disruption that disasters can bring. Whether triggered by natural or environmental issues, infrastructure or technology failures or cyber-attacks, disasters can bring dire consequences. In fact, 80% of organizations experiencing disruptions lasting 3-5 days will no longer be in business just 24 months later. Having a well-planned, tested and effective business continuity and disaster recovery plan can help your business recover from unexpected events more quickly.

Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity and Data/Application Backups

The terms “disaster recovery plan”, “business continuity plan” and “data/application backup” are often used interchangeably. However, there are some key distinctions organizations should understand.

An entity’s business continuity plan is business-, client- and operationally-focused, addressing how the company would resume critical operations after a disaster.

A disaster recovery plan is one element of the organization’s business continuity plan, focused on how the entity would safely restore its systems and data in a timely manner.

Backups of the entity’s data and applications should occur frequently as part of its daily operations. Backups are often a component of a business continuity and disaster recovery plan but should never be considered a substitute for them.

Existing Plans May be Inadequate

Many businesses have disaster recovery and business continuity plans on paper. However, research indicates that a mere 22% of businesses have a high level of confidence that their plans would actually be effective in the event of a significant business disruption. Another 48% had modest confidence in their plans’ effectiveness; a full 30% had low or no confidence.

Shockingly, less than half of organizations report testing their plans at least annually while nearly a quarter have never tested them.

Growing Threats Heighten the Importance of Disaster Recovery Programs

As the technologies organizations use continue to grow in both importance and complexity, so do the threats they face. This has increased both awareness of the need for effective disaster recovery plans and available resources and solutions for disaster prevention, recovery and management.

Historically, businesses that wanted to ensure their disaster recovery plans were strong would have to develop plans, hire talent, acquire software and hardware secure recovery space, develop processes and protocols to execute, manage, maintain, test and execute their plans. The challenge of managing this multitude of tasks only grows as technology grows more complex.

Disaster Recovery as a Service

In recent years, organizations of all sizes have adopted Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). DRaaS involves replicating and hosting physical and virtual servers in a second location, usually geographically-distant from the business. In the event a disaster occurs, the organization can boot and access those replicated systems and data in a timely manner.

DRaaS differs from traditional disaster recovery methods in several key ways. First, it’s a cost-effective solution. There’s no need to build or manage the secondary site or to use internal resources to manage or test the plan. The service provider handles those things. DRaaS also means lower disaster recovery costs, because fixed and capital costs are lower across the board. As the business’ needs, environment and technology structures change, it’s easier to implement changes to the disaster recovery plan.

Another feature is that DRaaS can readily address mixed application and storage environments, multiple data centers and multiple geographies. The reality is that most organizations today are using both cloud-based and local computing and storage which can add a level of complexity for firms managing their own disaster recovery programs.

Best of all, DRaaS is available for entities of all sizes. There are an estimated 500 DRaaS providers in the marketplace today and the field is rapidly expanding.

Is DRaaS Right for Your Organization?

DRaaS can provide a holistic one-stop, cost-effective solution to mitigate the risks that disasters can bring. To learn more about DRaaS and to explore how your organization could benefit from the provider’s scale and expertise, contact Norwell Technology Group today.

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