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7 Emerging Trends in Disaster Recovery Industry

7 Emerging Trends in Disaster Recovery Industry

For most business executives, finding a way to keep their businesses running even in the event of a disaster cannot be overstated. In fact, disaster recovery and business continuity are fast becoming the most important IT conversation that business leaders are having to discuss with their staff as well as train them on the protocols to follow when a disaster strikes. On average, business organizations take 1-9 hours to recover from a disaster. Each hour costs an average of $700,000.

In any disaster recovery procedure, the first few minutes and hours after a business system crashes are extremely crucial. For most enterprises, the rest of the recovery process is determined by how well events unfold in the period immediately after the disaster hits the business process.

Failure to be adequately prepared for a disaster has the potential to wreak havoc on the reputation and financial standing of the organization. What’s more, a poorly managed disaster can scare customers away. A Business Continuity Institute poll conducted by risk experts found that 85% of the people who took part in the survey had concerns that their businesses were at risk of a cyber-attack within a period of 12 months from the time the poll was conducted.

The apparent significance of disaster recovery and business continuity is what is informing the IT industry on the need to keep an eye on this industry, monitoring changes and emerging trends that will dictate how companies conduct business in the days, weeks and months ahead. The following are some of the emerging trends in the disaster recovery industry that business executives should be keeping an eye on.

Manual workarounds no longer viable

A few years ago, a good number of business organizations had several workarounds they relied on in their disaster recovery plans. Fast forward to today and this option is no longer available. For business processes to execute, IT services and data are needed. Creating hard copies of operational information is now almost always untenable. This is partly because of the high volume of the information that would be needed to be presented in hard copies.

What’s more, the majority of businesses have no human resources necessary to perform these manual tasks. As the business process has achieved efficiency through technology, companies have replaced their staff with automated systems, making manual workarounds practically a nonexistent concept within their business processes.

Shorter Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives (RPO/RTO)

Because businesses no longer have manual workarounds, practically every operational functionality comes to a stop the moment the systems become unavailable and only resume when the systems become available again. Additionally, businesses today heavily rely on data which results in a significant shortening of Recovery Point Objectives requirements.  Increasingly, the ways of recreating lost data are almost nonexistent. This is especially so for customers and the online service type of functions.

Data replication

As the need for RPO and RTO requirements decreases, data replication becomes more viable. And given that this trend is expected to continue, data replication for backup/restore as well as highly available solutions will soon become the most feasible solution. Unless only for archival purposes, a negligible number of business organizations use tape. Data replication is not only more efficient, it is also extremely pocket-friendly.

Using the cloud for disaster recovery

While some industries like the financial sector have been strikingly slow in their uptake of the cloud, other industries have jumped at the opportunity to streamline their business processes through this technology. Many experts had predicted that by now, almost everyone doing business in the cyberspace will have embraced the use of the cloud for disaster recovery.

This is yet to happen, but the number of businesses using the cloud to stay afloat in the event of a disaster is increasing steadily. As organizations hold onto their physical infrastructure and legacy systems, the viability of cloud as a solution for disaster recovery remains a complex proposition. Those businesses using the cloud for this see it, not as a replacement for existing data centers, but as part of their overall disaster recovery strategy.

Alternate colocation/data center

Any disaster recovery solution would be incomplete if it failed to incorporate an alternate co-location or data center. All the same, unlike in the past where the alternate data center made up the entire recovery solution, the emerging trend is the waning need for this. In its place, third party SaaS and cloud solutions are taking the place of alternate co-locations thereby remarkably reducing the data center’s capacity requirement. Industry watchers say they do not expect that the alternate co-locations would be removed from disaster recovery plans in totality, but they definitely expect their cost and size to come down decisively.

Increasing reliance on third party disaster recovery solution providers

Unsurprisingly, companies are handing over control of non-critical business processes to third party providers, including email, CRM and other Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, and outsourced solutions like customer service and payroll. Another area where business organizations are heavily depending on third parties is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) where they provide such services as web hosting, production needs, and development environments/platforms.

By using these third-party providers, companies can noticeably reduce their internal disaster recovery needs. Nevertheless, business executives must be careful not to turn over critical business processes to third party providers, a move that could jeopardize the entire organization, especially if something went terribly wrong.

Virtualization

Virtualization has been a major trend in the disaster recovery space and has excited many in the industry. Many industry watchers see it as one of the greatest improvements of the business continuity niche. Therefore, it is not a wonder that this technology has found its use in most of the computing environments across a wide array of business organizations.

Virtualization reduces the footprint of a company’s data center while availing and increased number of recovery options compared to the options available internally. By using virtualization, businesses are lessening the need to use lengthy recovery protocols. Furthermore, virtualization dramatically shortens recovery times while establishing repeated and successful recoveries.

 

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