Production downtime can occur at any time and is the bane of any business organization. With the advent of cloud based business continuity solutions, a whole new field has opened up, to ensure Business Continuity. The greatest Benefits of Cloud Based Business Continuity is to those organizations which need interruption free data flow for maximum productivity. Even a few minutes of down time can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue. Benefits of Cloud Based Business Continuity have given them reliability at an affordable cost.
Advantages of Cloud based Business Continuity over traditional methods
Initially when cloud solutions were offered, it was a costly service and could be afforded only by large corporations. As more and more Cloud Service providers entered the field, competition drove down the prices to more affordable levels. Now, backing up data in the cloud is fast becoming the norm rather than the exception, even for small businesses with longer RTO and RPO metrics.
Some of the benefits of Cloud Based Business Continuity are:
- Availability – The number of Cloud Service providers are increasing by the day. Therefore, the cloud based business continuity solution is available even in remote geographical areas of most countries. The wide range of services on offer means a business gets to cherry-pick the required services to suit its business needs.
- Cost effective – The cloud based business continuity solution has been one of the most cost effective solutions devised till date. Even small businesses can afford such services. The business needs only to pay for the services it uses. In case it needs additional services or needs to scale up current services, it can be easily done and they need to pay only when used. Knowing that such services are available on-call, as a back-up, means businesses do not need to maintain costly off-site production centers.
- Easy back-ups – Data can be backed up to the cloud in real-time or at pre-determined intervals to suit business needs. This can be done automatically by programming the servers accordingly. The daily routine of a night-time back-up is fast becoming a thing of the past.
- Easy to restore from the cloud – In the event of a Disaster, recover and restore functions are easily done. The reliability of using the cloud is greater than 99%. In traditional modes of back-up such as tapes, disks, flash drives etc. when restore is attempted; the chances are greater of data being corrupted when compared to the cloud.
- Can be accessed from anywhere – One of the biggest advantages of using the cloud for Business Continuity is that it can be accessed from anywhere in the event of a disaster. All that is needed is an internet connected device. Of course, security being a prime consideration, proper authentication procedures must be followed. If the production center is out of action, then authorized staff can work from home, hotels, convention centers etc. This wide accessibility gives IT Staff more breathing space to normalize functions and to ensure Business Continuity.
It should be cautioned that the Benefits of Cloud Based Business Continuity does not cover the entire gamut of BCDR. A careful study must be made of different disaster scenarios and its business impact. After taking all aspects of disaster possibilities into account, the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan must be drawn up. It should be regularly tested and staff should be adequately trained. As an example of what needs to be done, the disaster may incapacitate key IT personnel. If the password is not available to the next in command, then no amount of cloud.