If an earthquake happened or a hurricane made landfall, would you be ready? Would you have safety measures in place for your staff, and your data? It is not something that people like to think about, but it is most definitely something that everyone needs to consider. Without question, the security of your team should be your primary concern, but protecting your data also has immediate implications on the well-being of your business, your customers, and your employees.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, predicts that 40% of establishments close their doors immediately after a disaster, and for those that do survive, only 29% are still in operation two years later. This was the case in 2011 when two major earthquakes devastated New Zealand. In addition to the many upsetting losses of lives and homes, 3,000 people were left without a job. While there were many factors that contributed to this, one major reason is that of the 6,000 companies that were wiped out, many suffered irreversible hardware damage and had a lack of measures in place for data recovery and backup.
Organizations are not just responsible for keeping their own data secure. They also store the personal and private information of their employees and customers, with much of it being needed to make transactions. To make a bad situation even worse is not being able to serve your patrons. According to the National Archives and Records Administration, more than 90% of companies that experience at least seven days of data center downtime go out of business within a year. The reality is that there are very few places in the world that are immune to natural disasters. However, while headquarters may lose hardware if something were to happen, there is no need for vital records to be lost too. Losing essential information directly correlates to lost revenue and, unfortunately, this results in the firm most likely having to close their doors permanently.
While disasters will continue to strike, businesses can do something now that will protect their data. No longer are companies forced to house their information only in an onsite data center. To be fully prepared is to have a secondary data hosting option in place, such as an additional data center or a cloud-based system, or both in a hybrid solution. The system needs to be easily accessible and have solid recovery structures in place to be efficient.
There are a myriad of proactive and tested selections that can help companies avoid the devastating and costly effects of not being prepared. Third-party managed IT providers often take on the responsibilities of these services, as they offer options for operational and streamlined data storage and recovery solutions that can be customized for the needs of each business.
A business that prefers the use of a data center often chooses backup sites that are geographically dispersed throughout the world, known as colocation. Colocation and global data centers are an incredibly effective choice because they are housed in secondary cities away from headquarters. Pros include added protection, reliability, and efficient file retrieval. Challenges are making sure the additional locations are far enough away as to not be impacted by the same disaster. In addition, these centers must have multi-layered security and robust infrastructure, which is best entrusted to a managed IT provider that has established these fortified centers around the world.
Virtual data centers, or cloud-based IT, is quickly gaining popularity for its scalable and highly functional management capabilities, but many firms still lean towards a hybrid solution for document backup and recovery. As it combines technologies from various sources, such as cloud, managed hosting and services, and on-premise selections, if a threatening situation presents itself the information is not lost. Objections to this option sometimes include that employees must be trained in order to utilize this system; however, if the team is using virtual routes that are hosted on a cloud-based system, especially a managed private cloud, the maintenance and implementation are greatly reduced.
DRaaS, or Disaster-Recover-as-a-Service, is most often mentioned in the realm of another type of calamity, hacking and cyber-attacks, but is just as useful in the case of natural disaster data loss. This platform safeguards against disruptions to operations through an enhanced recovery route, protects both data centers and cloud applications, allows customers access to the company, and improves overall functionality. While some worry about the extra cost and resources to implement a disaster recovery strategy, DRaaS solutions allow backups and regaining access to your information to be straightforward and cost-effective.
Disasters, from natural occurring incidents to hacking attacks, are on the rise. And, while hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other environmental changes have always been a risk, last year it was reported that there were more hurricanes than usual. The times are changing, and so businesses must change the way they approach and store their vital data.