No one wants to think about the possibility of a disaster; it’s much easier to go about your business thinking, “it will never happen to me.” Unfortunately, that false sense of security often results in people and organizations finding themselves woefully under prepared when disaster does strike.
Between equipment failure, human error, cyber attacks, and natural calamities, it’s almost guaranteed that you will experience a disaster at some point during the life of your business. The potential loss of data, customers, and customer trust has put many businesses under and could ultimately result in the loss of your business too.
Take a look at some of these frightening and eye-opening facts:
- 40-60 percent of small businesses never reopen following a disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- 75% of small businesses do not have a disaster plan in place, according to a Nationwide Insurance Survey.
- Over 50 percent of small business owners say it would take three or more months to recover from a disaster, according to the same survey.
Thankfully, statistics like this may soon be a thing of the past thanks to the rapid adoption of the cloud; it has become its own silver lining to any calamity by introducing Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to the world. The best DRaaS providers keep your data secure and give you immediate access to it in the aftermath of a disaster, so you don’t have to maintain storage infrastructure.
But before choosing a DRaaS provider, there are four factors you’ll want to consider to be sure you make the right choice for your particular business or entity.
1. Understanding and Support
There’s a reason this is number one on our list. Before you move on to the other considerations, it’s imperative that your provider understand your business needs and processes and is able to remediate any issues that could hinder alignment with their own architecture. You’ll also want to consider support; some providers set you up and leave you on your own; while this may be acceptable for larger organizations with a full-time IT staff, smaller organizations will benefit more from a provider that offers technical assistance and advice as needed.
2. Recovery Speeds
How quickly can your provider get you back in business? This is determined by the following:
- Recovery Time Objective (RTO), how much time can pass during a disaster before it affects your Businesses Continuity Plan (or BCP; if you don’t have one, the right provider will help you put one in place).
- Recovery Point Objective (RPO), the amount of time in which a business function must be restored to avoid negative consequences or business continuity breaks.
Like most businesses, you probably want to get as close to a zero RTO and RPO as possible. So, you’ll want to seek out a DRaaS provider with aggressive recovery speeds, and one that follows a Continuous Data Protection (CDP) model vs periodic backups.
A CDP replicates data every single time a change or transaction is made, so you always have a backup of the most current data at any given time. In addition, should your data become infected by a virus or become mishandled due to human error, you can always revert back to the last “clean” snapshot of data.
When considering cloud backup and DRaaS providers, making sure they meet the compliance requirements needed for your organization is crucial. Three of the most important to look for include:
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which set the standards for protecting sensitive patient data and is a necessity for healthcare organizations.
- Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), a program initiated by the FBI and state bureaus identifying precautions that must be taken in regards to criminal background, fingerprint records, and other information gathered by law enforcement agencies.
- Statement on Standard for Attestation Engagements 16 Type II (SSAE Type II), a “stamp of approval” from certified auditors that an organization has met proper controls over financial reporting (SOC 1) and has been effective at these controls over a given period of time (SOC 2).
In the past, disaster preparation was quite an undertaking; it meant that an organization would have to physically move data to an offsite location and out of harm’s way (not to mention the expense of maintaining the offsite location and data storage). Following a disaster, accessing this data resulted in long downtimes, displaced employees, and unhappy customers.
Today, DRaaS allows organizations to store their most critical data offsite in a cloud best suited to their business needs. This is exactly what Florida’s Department of Agriculture did when they brought in DRaaS partner DSM to support their DR initiatives. Now, their most critical data is tucked away in a new location away from their headquarters in Tallahassee. “DSM has put Agriculture in a much better position from a disaster recovery standpoint than we have ever been in historically,” says Craig Vollertsen, Chief Technology Officer.
There’s no time like the present to begins preparing for disaster. Knowing what to look for when choosing disaster recovery solutions that are right for you will save you time—and could save your business. Don’t wait to get started. Contact DSM, Florida’s preferred cloud provider with guaranteed 99.999% uptime, for an IT health assessment with our experts today.