Incorporating cloud into disaster recovery improves performance

    While a company's sales effectiveness is reliant on a number of things, the ability to maintain operations at all times, regardless of external circumstances, is among the most important. This means that decision-makers need to implement the right tools and strategies to quickly recover from a natural or man-made disaster, as failing to restore operations in a timely manner can impair internal performance, customer service and myriad other services that contribute to an enterprise's revenue stream.

    A recent report by InformationWeek highlighted how the private sector is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of continuity programs, as approximately 40 percent of businesses have a disaster recovery plan in place and test it regularly. Another 40 percent of firms have a program but rarely test it, while 15 percent plan to deploy a strategy within the next 12 months.

    Although there is a plethora of reasons enterprises are renewing their focus on disaster recovery, including witnessing the effects natural phenomena had on the business world last year, the increased concern about disaster recovery is largely due to the proliferation of advanced technologies, InformationWeek said. Rather than using traditional land line phone systems that often experience outages during an emergency, for example, many firms are leveraging hosted PBX systems that are more reliable and flexible than their predecessors.

    Avoiding common pitfalls through innovation

    InformationWeek said failing to have a backup system in place is among the most common problems organizations have when preparing for a disaster. Because this is the underlying reason for launching a recovery strategy, more organizations are recognizing the need for continuity programs that enable operations to be carried out safely and efficiently in the wake of an event.

    InformationWeek said poor planning is often the result of inefficient recovery projects. For this reason, executives need to do their homework and find the right tools that can reduce complexity and boost performance during the darkest times. This will give organizations a competitive advantage over rival enterprises that have not deployed proper disaster preparation strategies.

    Fortunately, cloud computing can help companies keep mission-critical business processes running even when most other activities are grounded.

    Why the cloud?

    When a company hosts solutions in the cloud, it has a greater opportunity to recover those tools in the wake of a disaster, as the resources may be managed in an environment outside the boundaries affected by the occurrence. This flexibility is critical for companies today, according to a report by Acronis, which said cloud services will be more commonly integrated into disaster recovery programs in the future as the technologies mature and become more familiar in the private sector.

    "There's no question that today's world cannot function without the data we create every day," said Blaine Raddon, general manager at Acronis. "Without our data, we cannot operate - at least not in the way we are accustomed. That's why having a plan in place and knowing what technology is out there to help keep data protected and secure at all times - during a hurricane or in our everyday lives - is so vital."

    By leveraging a virtual PBX system, for example, companies will be able to support an individual's need to work outside the office without jeopardizing connectivity to critical assets. When cloud communications are incorporated into a disaster recovery program, decision-makers can ensure collaboration is prioritized and operations can be carried out at least on a functional level.

    In today's highly sophisticated private sector, being proactive and implementing cloud services can improve a firm's continuity strategies, enabling it to stay as efficient as possible at all times, regardless of uncontrollable circumstances.

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