Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is a category of cloud computing designed to protect applications and data against natural and human disasters. It ensures that service disruption of a business is kept to a minimum by enabling a full recovery through the cloud. Most often it is handled by a third-party provider and managed by your internal IT personnel, removing some workload from your IT professionals and giving them peace of mind.
Since every company is different, a business owner can choose the type of protection they want to receive. There are flexible plans and payment options to suit all needs and budgets, as well as “pay-if-you-use” options whereby a disaster recovery provider is kept on a small retainer, but then you pay if you need a recovery to be performed.
Many business owners can be sceptical about confidential company and customer information being stored on a cloud, let along by a third-party provider which is why we have provided three of the best reasons that a DRaaS can help save your business when you need it.
Financials and cost efficiencies
It costs a small fortune to build IT infrastructure for a company, and another fortune to build and maintain an off-site recovery environment. While some businesses will need specialist systems and sole control of their infrastructure for data sensitivity reasons, for most companies a DRaaS provider offers the perfect solution and helps bridge the financial gap. For a small fee, an organisation can use the provider to keep their data safe with their own IT manager acting as the medium, eliminating the overheads and build costs, as well as reducing employee costs.
Beyond the obvious costs and loss of revenue from a server outage, there is also the costs of staff disruptions that can impact a business due to the need of refocusing employee resources to dealing with the disaster. There is also the danger of damage to your brand that can occur in the event of loss of service or data loss. Customers will remember any medium and long-term outages and can find it hard to forgive such transgressions. Hurting these kinds of customer relationships can be terminal to any business, particularly in the age of being always-on, which leads us onto our next point.
Meeting customer expectation and retaining them
The Web 2.0 era has forced companies to be more transparent, accountable, and always have their services available as the market is now so competitive. Increased competition means lower prices, better services, and more discerning customers. This means that customers now demand perfection because they know if they can’t get it with one company, they will simply move onto the next company. This means it is imperative you do not give your customers a reason to leave you due to something relatively preventable (with the right planning), like a major outage or interruption.
If a service interruption does happen, then it is important that you have a plan for dealing with it. Again, a good disaster recovery provider can help lessen the strain. You can employ their resources to ensure that even if your service is not available, that you are still communicating with your customers while you get the issue resolved. Using your provider’s call centres you can ensure that your customer communication remains available, keeping them informed of the status of the outage, as well as any important messages that they need.
After all, it’s much, much cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new customer (or re-acquiring a former customer). It takes a lot of effort to earn a customer’s trust and this trust can quickly evaporate after data loss or service outage. Having a disaster recovery plan is far cheaper and gives businesses the peace of mind that they will be able to swiftly deal with any issue.
The Human Disaster
Human error is one of the leading causes of data loss today. Everyone makes mistakes, and whether it’s due to failure to follow company policies, carelessness, lack of experience or simple human error, this can still cause massive issues for any business. Disaster recovery gives you that added layer of protection, the ability to remotely monitor, maintain and secure your data – minimising human error and reducing the chances of data loss.
Apart from the human disaster scenario, there is the chance of disruption from within, or external to the company. Smaller and medium-sized businesses often feel like they won’t become the victim of malicious attacks due to their size, but in reality, the opposite is often true. Hackers rightly believe that SMBs are more likely to have less defences in place for their IT systems compared to a larger organisation, so they will spend their time attempting to engineer a way into the infrastructure of these smaller IT systems.
Having your data ransomed by a cybercriminal is a dangerous and stressful time, which is where a managed data recovery specialist can help. With the right data backup and restoration plans, a business won’t be as affected by the misappropriation of their data. Having a backup makes the data stolen by cybercriminals irrelevant.
Covering your failure points
There are many other ways that businesses can experience a disaster, from machine and hardware failure, to unavoidable natural disasters. Building and implementing a full incident handling plan is a big project but it has even bigger advantages. Covering your failure points is money well spent even if the business is small, as comprehensive solutions are designed to flexible enough to work with all types and sizes of business.
By Matthew Walker-Jones
About the author
Matthew Walker-Jones specializes in content covering topics including data driven marketing, online data protection, data recovery and cyber security. With a passion for all things data, Matthew is constantly staying up to date with the latest news on data security information.