Business Continuity is Moving to the Cloud. So What Are You Waiting For?

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Business continuity in the cloud can offer more flexible, scalable, cost-effective business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. While many businesses are realizing the tremendous opportunities and have integrated cloud computing solutions as a critical component of their overall business continuity strategies, largely unfounded or inflated concerns make some companies slow to adopt cloud services and cloud-based business continuity solutions

Simply a lack of familiarity, clarity or experience with new cloud technologies, processes and practices may unnecessarily elevate concerns for some. Not having a solid understanding of which internal applications or systems benefit from cloud-based business continuity solutions—or perhaps what those benefits are—may make some wary of change. It might just be confusion regarding how legacy hardware or applications, using a hybrid approach, can integrate with cloud applications into new, more effective business continuity models. Sometimes having limited experience with how sophisticated security, compliance and control solutions in the cloud through public, private and hybrid cloud computing options—backed with stringent SLAs (Service Level Agreements) with data center service providers—can bring about undue concerns for many who are cloud skeptics.  

Whatever the obstacles, any fears and perceived short-term pain should not override the potential for long-term gains of transitioning the cloud for business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. In fact, working with an experienced data center service provider can ensure a smooth, orderly and seamless transitioning process. 

So how can cloud-based business continuity solutions help your business? Let’s look at some of the benefits:

Cost: IT costs may be drastically lowered. Traditional business continuity solutions are costly—cloud computing eliminates added capex outlays for duplicate hardware and software and the costs of maintaining them. Data replication, transport and retrieval to and from offsite storage in the cloud is automated and extremely cost-efficient. With pay-as-you-go pricing models, you pay only for the resources you need, and only when you actually use them—still having the reassurance of complete resources at your disposal in the event of a disaster.

Efficiency: Business continuity is enhanced in the cloud with much faster recovery time, often reduced from days to sometimes hours, or even minutes. This is because the entire server (including the operating system, applications, patches and data) is safely replicated, transferred, backed up and stored off site in virtual servers. The server can be reloaded from the host back to the user in the recovery process. The non-virtualized approach requires reloading servers with each and every operating system, application and patch to the most recent configuration used in production—before data can be restored. 

Scalability: The scalability of cloud computing solutions supports business continuity objectives, allowing organizations to quickly and easily adapt to changing business conditions—upscaling and downscaling IT requirements as needed and minimizing downtime, interruptions and disruptions.

Flexibility: Cloud computing provides greater flexibility both in and out of the workplace. It’s a great supporter of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) enterprise, enabling employees to use mobile devices such smartphones, tablets and laptops to access files and share documents from anywhere over the Internet, improving collaboration and productivity.

Business continuity in the cloud offers a reliable, cost-effective alternative to conventional, costly business continuity solutions. And yet, statistics released by FEMA and the Insurance Information Institute reveal nearly two-thirds of small businesses do not have an emergency plan in place for their business. Up to 40% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25% fail within one year. Even more startling, the U.S. Small Business Administration reports over 90% of businesses fail within two years after disaster strikes.

It’s time to get your business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place if you don’t have one, and lose the fear of the cloud. Contact us to speak with a trusted Windstream business continuity expert. We offer an entire range of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions from simple cloud backup and cloud storage to managed services and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) to hosting your company’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

So what are you waiting for? Let’s hope it’s not for the next disaster!