Placing Business Continuity Ahead Of DR In The Cloud

Placing Business Continuity Ahead Of DR In The Cloud

Why You Need To Put Business Continuity Ahead Of DR In The Cloud 

The emergence of disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) has made thinking about disaster a whole lot less scary for an increasing number of organizations. It’s cheaper than outfitting a separate and equal disaster recovery site that mirrors your data center. It helps your CFO shift costs from the capital budget to the operations budget. It’s backed up by service level agreements (SLAs) with your cloud provider—or should be. It frees your IT team to concentrate on physical and personal challenges presented by the disaster itself. And it’s way faster than tape.

For all its much documented benefits, however, implementing DRaaS, does not excuse you from addressing the state of your typically unloved business continuity plan. To borrow a popular metaphor: DRaaS is the cart, and business continuity is the horse. Unless you make the commitment to develop and/or refresh your long-term business continuity strategy, your DRaaS solution will save your critical data but you could still lose your business.

DRaaS is a technology. It will save whatever data you tell it to, but the success of your business depends as much if not more on the effectiveness and efficiencies of your processes and procedures. Critically reviewing, evaluating and improving your processes and procedures, as a result, is essential to ensuring the success of your business. Skip that step and the business you are protecting with DRaaS, may still not survive.

Avoidable Failure

That’s the stick: commit yourself relentlessly to the rigors of business continuity planning or risk getting whacked with otherwise avoidable failure. There is so much to dislike about that thought that many, if not most organizations, are inclined to not think about it at all. Business continuity planning is something they did five years ago—or more—and it was so much fun then, that they never, ever want to do it again. The whole process was time consuming and disruptive. Some veterans of past business continuity initiatives compare them to being sequestered for a murder trial.

It doesn’t have to be like that. There is a carrot for business continuity…actually several:

  • Business continuity is not just about finding what’s wrong with your business operations, it’s more about identifying what’s right and then finding ways to make them more efficient, reliable and resilient. It’s an opportunity to think strategically, not tactically.
  • Business continuity is not about finger pointing, as much as it is about team building. The continuity of your business, after all, is the shared responsibility of everyone, not just the IT department, but business stakeholders as well.
  • Addressing business continuity fosters not only communications, but also collaboration across the entire organization. Business continuity planning requires that IT and business units share in the responsibility and accountability for the overall well-being of the organization.

The Power to Act

As with any long-term objective, developing a business continuity plan is best undertaken in a phased approach. A good first step is the development of a business continuity roadmap that identifies where you are now and where you want to be in the future. You need to identify risks to critical systems—business and IT—and establish just how much risk you are prepared to accept. (There is no getting rid of all risk.) The roadmap also needs to project a budget that shows specifically what needs to be done, over what period of time, and how much it will cost. You don’t have to do it all at once. Implementing your plan needs to be a sustainable effort, so you need to map out what you can accomplish with available resources over an acceptable period of time.

Cataloging and rating the threats to your survivability has the additional benefit of demystifying them and making them approachable and resolvable. It is a fact of life that most things are scarier when you have your back turned to them. Having knowledge gives you the power to act and allows you to be proactive, instead of reactive.

The key deliverables that result from a comprehensive business continuity plan are choices. You get to decide what to do before a disaster instead of afterwards or worse, in the middle of one. Better yet, you get to choose what steps you and your CFO are willing to take to reduce or eliminate risks to your organization’s continuity of operations. There may well be chances your organization is prepared to take; but you at least need to know what they are.

Living Process

Business continuity planning is not a one-time project. It is a living process like a healthy diet or an exercise routine. The scope of an effective plan needs to be as broad as the organization it is designed to protect, and to ensure that every detail is accounted for and all the right stakeholders are involved.

A good time to talk seriously about business continuity is any time your organization is facing a significant change, i.e., a major systems upgrade, acquiring another company or being acquired. Success is one of the best reasons to ensure nothing happens that would suddenly turn your fortunes in the opposite direction.

The true value of business continuity planning is not limited to technology. Done correctly, the exercise of developing and implementing a thorough business continuity plan opens ongoing conversations between IT and business units which contributes to a sense of trust as well as a shared confidence in their combined abilities to work together as an efficient team to face whatever challenges lie ahead. Hitch a well implemented DRaaS solution to a vigorous business continuity plan, and you have a winning combination of long-term sustainability and affordability.

david-kinlawBy David Kinlaw,

As Logicalis practice manager for protection services, David’s role is to develop comprehensive best practices and disaster recovery and business continuity solutions that protect Logicalis customers from suffering a significant data loss that could impact or threaten their businesses.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comics
Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority Research has revealed that third parties cause 63 percent of all data breaches. From HVAC contractors, to IT consultants, to supply chain analysts and beyond, the threats posed by third parties are real and growing. Deloitte, in its Global Survey 2016 of third party risk, reported…

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups Cloud platforms have become a necessary part of modern business with the benefits far outweighing the risks. However, the risks are real and account for billions of dollars in losses across the globe per year. If you’ve been hacked, you’re not alone. Here are some other companies in the past…

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

Hybrid-Cloud Approach For over 20 years, organizations have been attempting to secure their networks and protect their data. However, have any of their efforts really improved security? Today we hear journalists and industry experts talk about the erosion of the perimeter. Some say it’s squishy, others say it’s spongy, and yet another claims it crunchy.…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Out-of-the-box Cloud Solutions Although people may argue that data is not safe in the Cloud because using cloud infrastructure requires trusting another party to look after mission critical data, cloud services actually are more secure than legacy systems. In fact, a recent study on the state of cloud security in the enterprise market revealed that…

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

The Digital Twin  How smart factories and connected assets in the emerging Industrial IoT era along with the automation of machine learning and advancement of artificial intelligence can dramatically change the manufacturing process and put an end to the dreaded product recalls in the future. In recent news, Samsung Electronics Co. has initiated a global…

Cyber Security: McAfee on IoT Threats and Autonomous Cars

Cyber Security: McAfee on IoT Threats and Autonomous Cars

IoT Threats and Autonomous Cars Autonomous cars are just around the corner, there have been controversies surrounding their safety, and a few doubts still hang in the minds of people who don’t like the idea of a computer driving their car. However, the biggest news stories surrounding this topic have been to do with how…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

DDoS Attacks October 21st, 2016 went into the annals of Internet history for the large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that made popular Internet properties like Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and Box inaccessible to many users in the US. The DDoS attack happened in three waves targeting DNS service provider Dyn, resulting in a total of about…