Disaster recovery plans in the clouds
Both large and medium/small-sized companies have significantly increased their organizational data in recent years. Analyzing large data sets will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth and innovation, according to a research by MGI and McKinsey’s Business Technology Office. The ability to store, compound date, and then synthesize results in an extensive analysis has more than ever become accessible through digital storage and cloud computing technologies.
But what about “What if” capabilities? Is cloud computing reliable for disaster recovery plans? Did you know that companies lose almost $90,000 every hour of downtime, according to market researches? It is quite clear to me that digital data must be thoroughly protected and that executives must think strategically about how to prepare their organizations for unpredictable man-made or natural disasters, since the stakes are very high. Unfortunately, a Gartner research also states that only 35 percent of SMBs have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place.
Technically, because it is dependent on a single location and has operational back-up, cloud computing is viewed as a proper recovery solution to store critical information. However, there are still challenging aspects in using cloud computing for disaster recovery. Policies related to privacy, security, intellectual property, and liability are in the mist of uncertainty for some backing up data to the cloud.
In 2011, a survey of 247 Fortune 1000 corporations by 451 Group found that 87% of enterprise-class corporations had no plans to use cloud storage as an archive or lower tier. It is obvious that companies are reluctant to build disaster recovery plans based exclusively on cloud computing.
But who said that it was going to be easy? I strongly believe that in the next five years cloud computing will change disaster recovery fundamentals. Companies will have solid cloud disaster recovery plans customized on applications and businesses and based on recovery time objectives. Testing it periodically and having trained employees and IT specialists to implement it appropriately will provide more trust in cloud-based storage offerings.
Considering cost savings and other benefits, I think SMBs could set the adoption trend in this area. Cloud computing facilitates for them disaster methods that were previously possible only in larger organizations.
By Rick Blaisdell
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