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Shane Bansrupan

By: Shane Bansrupan on January 20, 2024

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The Role Of The Cloud In Business Continuity And Disaster Recovery

Cloud | IT Support

Picture this – you're in the middle of a crucial task when your access to critical data and applications is cut off.

It's the kind of scenario that can grind any business to a sudden halt. Whether you're running a small operation or managing a large enterprise, the consequences of disrupted workflows extend beyond just downtime. They often mean a loss of valuable customers and a big hit to your bottom line.

As a virtual chief information officer (vCIO), I work with businesses just like yours. In this article, we’ll explore what it means to work in “the cloud” and how cloud solutions can help your organization avoid situations like the one outlined above.

What Is The Cloud?

Although most business leaders have heard the term, the cloud can mean different things to different people.

In general, when your IT support team talks about putting things in the cloud it means hosting them on a network of servers that store and manage data and run applications virtually rather than locally.

In other words, rather than store things on a physical server located at your site or at a data center, your files, applications, and programs are hosted in a virtual space.

This means you no longer are tethered to a physical server, so you can easily access the tools you need to do your job from anywhere via an internet connection.

How Does The Cloud Work?

When you store data or run applications in the cloud, your cloud service provider is responsible for maintaining and updating the server and backing up your data.

You pay for this service on an ongoing basis, rather than investing in the upfront costs associated with a physical server.

When you migrate to the Cloud, your server costs become an operating expense rather than a capital expense. In addition, you no longer need to pay the costs associated with managing, configuring, updating, and patching a physical server. The service provider handles it all.

You can easily access your data from various devices and locations no matter how many other people are using the network at the same time.

Related article: Cloud Migration: What It Means, How It Works (6 Questions To Ask)

What Role Does The Cloud Play In Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery?

Because cloud service providers back up your data on a regular basis, migrating operations to the cloud helps ensure that your business can continue operations and recover more easily from unexpected events.

When you work in the cloud, your operations are no longer subject to disasters that your facility or data center experiences.

One caveat: Make sure you know how to access your latest data backup. Work with your cloud provider to conduct regular tests so that you can easily regroup when disaster strikes.

The last thing you want is to find out in the middle of an emergency that your backups aren’t current or that they aren’t accessible. Practice regularly and be prepared.

Related article: 8 Questions To Ask When Vetting Cloud Providers For IT Services

Are There Other Advantages To Cloud-Based Services?

Cloud-based computing offers additional benefits. Some of which include:

  • Scalability

Another benefit to cloud-based services is that they are easily scalable without a huge capital outlay.

Many businesses outgrow the amount of storage on physical or on-site servers. When that happens, the organization may be able to add capacity, but more often it means a huge capital investment to replace the server.

  • Backups

With automated backup processes and flexible storage options, cloud-based solutions can be easily tailored to adapt to the needs of virtually any business.

  • Standby Services

In addition, many cloud providers offer continuously mirrored warm-standby style disaster recovery services, allowing businesses to switch quickly from on-premises to cloud computing resources in the event of a disaster.

  • Automation

Cloud providers automate as many processes as possible. In the background, invisible to you and your applications, host servers are automatically provisioned, configured, backed up, and updated.

What’s The Bottom Line?

In this article, we've explained the role cloud computing plays in disaster recovery. We’ve explored what the cloud is, how it works, and how to leverage its power for business continuity and disaster recovery.

At this point, you also have a full understanding of other advantages working in the cloud offers. The scalability, backups, standby services, and automation that cloud providers offer can be a cost-effective option to on-site servers.

Read this article to learn more about cloud migration.

While on-site servers may be a better solution for some organizations, the bottom line is that working in the cloud helps ensure that your business is ready for anything.

Wondering whether on-site or cloud storage is best for your organization? Discover the pros and cons of local vs. on-site servers.

Whether you decide to work in the cloud, store data locally, or use an offsite data center, make sure you know how to access your data in an emergency. Ensure that your procedures are up-to-date, practiced regularly, and that key staff members know how to implement them.

The most important thing in a natural or other disaster is quick recovery! With automated backup processes and flexible storage options, cloud-based solutions can be easily tailored to adapt to the needs of virtually any business.

If you run a small or medium-sized business (SMB), you may or may not have the internal resources you need to evaluate your server options. If you do, that’s great! If you don’t, you may be thinking about asking an external IT provider to help you explore whether the cloud is a good option for you.

When considering external IT partners, always compare several options before making your final decision. It’s important to find a provider that is the right fit for your organization and the best way to do that is to evaluate a handful of provider organizations.

Wondering where to start? As with any important purchase, start with an internet search and ask your business contacts which providers they would recommend. Ask questions and do your research, then select a few providers to explore more thoroughly.

When you meet with them, here are 10 of the best questions to ask any IT provider.

One of the benefits of working with an external IT provider is that they can provide a range of expertise that most SMBs don’t have the resources to support as part of their internal staff. In addition to cloud migration, learn other ways external IT providers help businesses continue when disaster strikes.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and just want to talk to a human, the button below will begin the process of reaching out to one of our technical solutions experts who will contact you to schedule a 15-minute call to walk through some options.

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About Shane Bansrupan

Shane is passionate about taking care of the customer. As a virtual Chief Information Officer, he makes sure our partners have the infrastructure and security they need to move their business forward. He holds enterprise business and technical certifications from AWS, Datto, Microsoft, and several other industry-leading customer experience-enhancing solutions, like Kaseya and ConnectWise.

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