In this COVID-19 crisis, several countries across the globe have enforced lockdowns, forcing several organizations to open up partially or work remotely. Moreover, due to social distancing and remote working demands, travel restrictions, site availability impacts, the stress and challenges that organizations are facing is significant.
But this is a time to adapt to the changing environments and embrace whatever works best for your organization. Many enterprises are now using physical and virtual collaboration tools to deal with the impacts of the pandemic situation while ensuring the continuation of their business. If the situation persists for a longer time, enterprises can depend more on such tools.
Although the tectonic shift towards a remote working culture may seem daunting for many organizations, the work flexibility has actually resulted in a rise in overall productivity levels. With the added demands of an increased remote workforce and impacted resources, the risk for data breaches and security will increase and so will the need for a data backup and disaster recovery solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic shows that disasters are a reality and can hamper your business any time. Therefore, it is critical to have a disaster recovery strategy in place so that your business gets up and running following a disastrous situation.
Here, ExpertCallers can step in as a remote extension of your team and help your organization with their resources and expertise in threat monitoring and response.
Impact of COVID-19 On Businesses
COVID-19 has put several businesses at risk through a shortage of staff and the absence of workers and services. As enterprises are still adjusting to the disruptions caused to their business due to the pandemic, the need for disaster recovery business continuity plan is even bigger.
Although the coronavirus, all by itself, can’t shut down business operations, systems, and services, it is surely slowing down the pace of growth, especially when people are home-quarantined and experiencing other disruptions in their work with industries having to migrate mammoth databases and services to accommodate the work from home guidelines.. In case of a major disaster, it may be impossible for a technical representative to reach the site and restore the devices needing maintenance.
A few challenges that businesses have to face are –
- Data Loss
- Revenue Loss
- Network Outages
- Increased Security Risks, and
- Stifled Productivity
It is true that a pandemic situation like this, leading to slow down or shut down of businesses won’t happen often, but there are other natural and man-made disasters that can hamper your business. Therefore, it is essential that enterprises always pay attention to assessing the risks and developing a strategy to ensure smooth disaster recovery and continuity of operations.
Understanding the Difference Between Disaster Recovery and Backup
Many enterprises often believe that they have to decide between backup or recovery services for their business. But these services, although separate, have to be used as a combined strategy to offer the best possible protection for your data. Let’s see what backup and disaster recovery mean.
Disaster recovery is a security planning model that can be used to protect an enterprise from damage to critical functions and disruption to business continuity following an incident of disaster. On the other hand, backup refers to the copying of data into a secondary form so that it can be used to restore the original file after the impact of the natural or human-induced disaster, such as a tornado or a cyber-attack.
Backups of the original data are periodically created and saved. The data can be restored from the most recent copy at any time. This ensures faster recovery times and helps your company to avoid irreparable damages due to a major data loss. However, disaster recovery as a service aims at protecting the entire system instead of just a selected group of files. Unlike data backup services, it doesn’t retrieve the data but enables enterprises to get the systems functioning again quickly.
Thus, you need them both to support business continuity and minimize the length of downtime. And it is equally important to understand the difference between them to build a resilient business strategy.
Approaching Disaster Recovery: Go the Traditional Way or Outsource It?
Every business strives to increase customer satisfaction levels while maintaining their loyalty and trust. But a disaster can slow down or completely halt the business operations and may also lead to loss of critical data. This can put your organization at the risk of loss of customers, revenues, productivity, and the entire business.
To sustain your business after an unexpected disaster, you need to have a solid disaster recovery strategy in place. There are two ways to approach a disaster recovery strategy. You can go the traditional way, i.e. in-house or outsource it (DRaaS).
When your disaster recovery is done in-house, the data protection and recovery operations are handled by your firm’s own infrastructure and available resources. This gives you total control over the entire data recovery process, and you can secure your data and applications without any help from third parties. However, you need to make sure that the team you designate is capable of implementing and maintaining your disaster recovery strategy.
It works best if you are planning a disaster recovery strategy for small and medium-sized businesses because your requirements will be low and you won’t have to spend huge costs on resilient infrastructure, servers, storage, and IT equipment.
The DRaaS or disaster recovery as a service is a more feasible solution. A third-party service will take care of your data protection requirements on their resources. They usually offer a stable pricing policy, taking care of everything, right from backup and replication of data to failover and failback. By outsourcing disaster recovery services, you can rest assured that your recovery objectives are met while you invest your time and efforts on other tasks important for your business.
Advantages of Outsourcing Disaster Recovery Services
If you choose to outsource disaster recovery services, here are some key advantages that DRaaS offers.
- Cost-effective Disaster Recovery Process: Disaster recovery done in-house can take a heavy toll on your budget. You will have to spend on buying the IT equipment, infrastructure, servers as well as hire a team to manage the disaster recovery processes. But you can avoid these huge expenses by going for DRaaS. Generally, DRaaS providers have a feasible pricing model that allows you to pay only for the services that you use.
- Avoid Data Damage from Increasing Сyber-attacks: Surviving a cyber-attack can be quite tough for businesses relying on traditional DR methods. However, DRaaS providers are experts in dealing with almost every adverse disaster recovery scenario and offer a variety of data protection methods to handle the most complex of data security risks and threats.
- Fast Recovery: With most DRaaS solutions, you can control the disaster recovery processes remotely. They make it possible to recover and resume business operations shortly after a disaster affects a primary data center. As DRaaS providers guarantee fast recovery times, there is minimum or no damage to business productivity, which disaster recovery services ultimately aim for.
- Highly Scalable Solutions: DRaaS offers highly scalable disaster recovery solutions to help you grow and expand your business. The capabilities of the infrastructure can be upgraded at any moment to meet the changing needs of your business.
- Ease of Use: With DRaaS solutions, managing the recovery processes is quite easy. At the same time, all the complex tasks like system up-gradation, running DR tests, maintaining storage, are handled by your service provider.
- Compliance Support: As DRaaS providers deal with critical business information, they strictly follow the regulatory and compliance requirements. Thus, your organization stays compliant according to the key regulations.
Things to Consider in A Disaster Recovery Plan
While considering to opt for a disaster recovery plan, there are a few critical components that you need to include. Some of these are mentioned below.
Business Impact Analysis: You need to complete a business impact analysis taking into account all the major systems so that you have a clear understanding of the priorities for disaster recovery. The analysis will help you determine the possible impact that a disaster will have on your business operations. Consequently, you will have effective recovery methods to control the losses.
People: The disaster recovery plan is not just about the technology. You need people to respond to the disaster and get your business back to proper working order. Therefore, it is smart to think about it in terms of the whole organization instead of directing your entire focus on the data. Also, designate a core team who can be a single point of contact for communication and accountability and offer a great response during the incident of a disaster.
Location: You must know where your systems will be running when you are having an emergency. Hence, include the location information in the disaster recovery plan as well.
Mass Notification: During a disaster, you need to update every staff member about it through emails, text messages, or mobile alerts. So, make sure that they have access to incident management procedures to properly respond to the disaster incident.
Evacuation Plans and Exits: Have a well-planned evacuation and exit strategy to safely shelter your customers and staff. You should also conduct drills periodically to help people get to safety as quickly as possible in times of actual disaster.
Supply Chain Contacts: A disaster may damage some of your inventory, and you may not be able to fulfill any new orders. So, you must keep the contact details of your vendors and alternate suppliers to recover from the situation and fill the gaps quickly.
Disaster Payroll and Accounting Processes: Having a stable financial side throughout the disaster is important. To ensure that, you can have a cloud-hosted and independent payroll service and accounting system so that you can easily fund your recovery. It is advisable to create an emergency fund to help your teams stay financially secure during times of uncertainty.
Continuous Data Protection for your Disaster Recovery Plan: As mentioned earlier, for faster disaster recovery, a high-quality infrastructure is a must. Another way to avoid the damages caused by the disaster is by not losing data in the first place. You can protect your firm with a managed CDP (continuous data backup) that keeps a set of freshly saved information available to be accessed quickly.
The pandemic has caught several businesses off guard. In response, many businesses had to instantly adapt their processes and functions to remote working style, something they thought could be planned over time. Disastrous situations like this can’t be predicted, but you can be prepared to mitigate the risks in the face of a catastrophe.
Outsourcing your backup and data recovery services to ExpertCallers will offer your organization proactive data protection to maintain business continuity and protect remote workloads amidst the COVID-19 chaos and potentially any future threats. With its remarkable infrastructure and managed services, ExpertCallers can help to recover critical business data quickly and minimize downtime so that your business growth is not hampered. Considering the varying operations and requirements across enterprises, ExpertCallers also offers a tailored plan with a range of recovery options to meet your unique business needs.
Its core disaster recovery team works with you closely to devise a disaster recovery strategy, and then refine and execute it so that when a disaster hits your business, you are ready to face it and recover from it quickly.
The present pandemic is a reminder for all businesses that the only way to tackle natural disasters and pandemics is to plan for it in advance.
How prepared is your business to recover from it? Talk to us to find the right solution.