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How business continuity is ensured through Disaster Recovery as a service

Apr 18th, 2019

As companies plan for their business continuity, one of the big challenges that they face is choosing which Disaster Recovery (DR) solution will be most appropriate for their business. The question that businesses ask is do they adopt a cloud-based solution, as recent trends indicate it is beneficial to the business, or should they choose a hybrid model that allows them make the migration with minimal impact on the business while also continuing to extract value from their existing infrastructure?

For many of them, DR as a service (DRaaS) is becoming a viable solution to these issues, as it provides enterprises, large and small, with access to the necessary support of redundancy in their business systems at a fraction of the cost.

It also delivers capacity to Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) to assure their clients that although they are small, the businesses main systems are protected and that, in the event of a disaster , business will continue with little impact to the main operations.

What is DR as a service?

DR as a service is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third-party to provide recovery systems in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe. DR backs up the entire environment, not only the data, allowing the company to continue conducting business on a different system, in the event of a disaster

In terms of adoption trends, the global DR as a service market is gaining traction, with the market expected to grow to $11.92 Billion in 2020. In South Africa, demand for DR as a service is also growing. Some larger corporations are moving their set up from traditional own- infrastructure models to adopting various hybrid models that include cloud solutions.

SMMEs are also progressing from not having business solutions in place or having strictly back-up based solutions to full DR solutions.

The benefits of DR as a service

For large corporations that previously invested in traditional DR solution, the main benefit is that these businesses have complete control over their continuity resources and can respond to disaster quickly, without having to depend on outsiders.  The business is therefore in a better position to design the DR solution to fit their business’ needs and to choose its hardware platform.

However, traditional DR solutions can be costly, as capital investment needed to purchase and set up the infrastructure. Businesses also require time and skilled personnel to deploy, and once up and running, to test, manage and maintain.

DR as a service does not require a capital investment, allowing for quick and cost-effective deployment and maintenance. Users can access information as and when they need it. It also offers pay-as-you-use options so that if the company does not experience a disaster, no further financial loss is experienced.

For SMMEs and companies with limited resources to dedicate to managing a business continuity infrastructure, adopting DR as a service also means that they don’t have to worry about managing a resource that is critical for their business survival but that is not core to their business.

Market opportunities for resellers

The continued growth of the DR as a service market also presents new business opportunities for resellers.  However, there needs to be a clear understanding of what can be offered by resellers to clients and what the reseller would like to offer their clients. Whether resellers are setting up from scratch, migrating from owned infrastructure to the cloud or going from back-up based solution to full cloud. This insight will help resellers identify opportunities within this growing space:

Mine the old back-up space – Until recently, many small companies relied on back-up solutions for their business continuity/disaster recovery setup. However, as they gain an understanding of the benefits of cloud-based solutions, they are now looking at DR as a service, presenting an opportunity for resellers to assist them to make the natural progression.

Accommodate hybrid options – Many large corporations still use their own DR infrastructure to retain firm control of their business continuity process and to extract value from their previous infrastructure investments. However, there is a growing trend for many more to consider cloud solutions, with the resulting need for cloud/own infrastructure hybrid model custom-designed to fit in with their needs. Sometimes this makes for complex systems and as a reseller, you will need the capacity and skills to assist your clients to navigate this uncertain space.

Be strategic – Resellers must also be very strategic when choosing the best partner /service provider who can assist you to meet your client needs:

  • The credibility of your partner – Choose a partner who can provide you with a strong, tested recovery solution that offers assurance that the data will be safe and in case of a disaster, you can safely recover it quickly and efficiently. The key issue to keep in mind when choosing your partner is, “who can I trust to assist me to fulfill the promises that I make to my clients?”
  • It must be a complete solution – Business continuity is an essential part of the overall business strategy and as such, every investment that you make must make business sense. As a reseller, clients may therefore want to be able to use the infrastructure you provide for other business activities, not just let their investment mothball until disaster strikes.
  • The solution must be agile – It is important to keep in mind that clients want a solution that meets their needs when they need it, but does not cost them beyond that. The business landscape changes very fast and companies need solutions that are tailored to their needs and agile enough to adjust to changing needs.

In conclusion, DR as a service offers a comprehensive solution for large corporations and SMMEs to ensure business continuity at reasonable cost and limited risks. The market also offers strong opportunities for those who enter the reseller market. However, as always, due diligence is still necessary and all the necessary business principles that helped you to establish your business still apply.