Part 1: Disaster Recovery and the technology trifecta.
Growth in disaster recovery (DR) solutions have been outpacing the broader IT market for years. Today, some research indicates that the market is growing at nearly 40% CAGR. These numbers are impressive, for sure, but they should not be a surprise.
Universal truths about YOUR business.
If you watch business or IT headlines you already know there are two universal truths about your business. First, application downtime and/or data loss can have a significant impact on your revenue, brand, and reputation. The best case for downtime is you lose employee productivity – a hard-to-measure soft cost. The worst case, however, could be a combination of downtime and data loss that results in a direct impact to your revenue and/or reputation. In this case, both could theoretically go to zero. This is especially true for companies that deliver online services.
The second universal truth about your business is that it is increasingly vulnerable to application downtime and data loss. Unfortunately, this can’t be overstated. A businesses’ increased vulnerability is evidenced by recent trends: 1) Data is valuable to you, and therefore, it is also valuable to cyberthieves 2) Cyberthieves have gotten smarter and their attacks more sophisticated 3) Infrastructure can fail or be too complex to sufficiently protect with traditional methods. All of this makes the business vulnerable to loss. It’s not a question of if, but when you experience downtime, will your business be ready to respond?
DR satisfies the technology trifecta of business value.
Considering the risks above, it’s no wonder that the DR market is growing fast. But considering any new investment usually requires due diligence into the business value of the solution and the opportunity cost of not investing in other areas of your business. While the “other areas” are unique to every organization, the good news is that DR passes the simple, 3-part test:
- Is the technology critical to the functioning of the business or the continuity of the business? There are many solutions that can be deemed critical to the business, though that view is always subjective. However, when it comes to business continuity, DR is the solution (literally) that businesses turn to. Bottom line, if you are serious about business continuity, you need to DR.
- What is the Return on Investment (ROI) of DR? While not a direct answer to the question “is it affordable?”, ROI gives businesses a normalized metric to compare against other technologies and other investments. This is important, because ROI is the return on a particular investment, relative to the investment’s cost. In other words, ROI can be used to compare differently priced solutions relative to business value. The good news here is that 1) DR is relatively inexpensive to purchase due to the efficiency of cloud delivery (Disaster Recovery as a Service), and 2) the cost of NOT implementing DR (which should be the probability of downtime x potential revenue impact) can be very high – together leading to a high ROI.
- Is DR easy to deploy/adopt? While the above criteria are the most important buying criteria, technology adoption is usually an important consideration. How long will it take to adopt? Do I have the team to do it? Traditional, customer-owned and managed DR requires significant planning, time, and investment to set up. Consider that you need infrastructure, likely a second data center, and a plan for downtime (late night, weekends anyone?). Not to mention regular testing and resource updates. Fortunately, cloud-based DR (DRaaS) has made the process of deployment straightforward and ongoing maintenance relatively painless. As a result, adoption is no longer a concern for companies looking to determine if DR is right for their business.
Obviously the above, especially the ROI, needs to be looked at from your specific business perspective. Mileage will vary, but for the majority of customers looking at DR they will quickly see that it’s the best defense against unplanned downtime, the ROI makes it an economically sound investment, and adoption will be easy. A technology trifecta for most. Following on this topic, in the next blog we will explore the ROI portion (i.e. we will talk about money). Specifically, how to view the economic decision around deploying DR – in the cloud, or on-premises.