Cloud computing has transformed almost every organization’s approach to business continuity. Even a decade ago, the majority of businesses retained significant quantities of pricey technology in their offices. Today, server rooms have been phased out of the majority of companies, owing to services such as Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon’s AWS or Google’s GCP. Unfortunately, because cloud services are convenient, they may pose a genuine danger to business continuity. The rapid acceleration of the cloud revolution has been facilitated in no little part by the ease with which businesses have adopted cloud models. After migrating to the cloud, it might be easy for enterprises to neglect business continuity planning entirely.

Business continuity

Business continuity planning is a more comprehensive set of preparations than disaster recovery planning and aims to guarantee that your business can continue to operate safely while recovering from a catastrophe. Business Continuity management considers all technological and non-technical, such as offices and people, required to conduct the business lines’ vital tasks. Its objective is to safeguard, continue, or restart these operations – regardless of the nature of the failure or catastrophe or the impacted resources – within a timeframe and under the circumstances acceptable to the business lines. Business continuity management is often confused with numerous closely related procedures, which explains why many businesses underestimate its critical nature. 

 

Cloud Business Continuity Benefits

There are several factors to consider while making business continuity choices. However, before developing, testing, and deploying a business continuity solution, you must first choose the solution type that is most appropriate for your organization’s requirements. Some benefits are listed below.

 

Disaster Recovery 

Disaster recovery is the first step toward business continuity since it assures that information technology and communications systems continue to function. Cloud-based service models such as IaaS and SaaS may be used for disaster recovery. DR focuses on reducing downtime and catastrophe damage by ensuring critical support systems are up and running as fast as possible with minor data loss. Regardless of your business size, the first step in developing a disaster recovery strategy is to assess your IT environment.

 

Scalability

Cloud business continuity enables enterprises to migrate data and apps to the cloud. Certain firms may choose to keep just their most vital assets in the cloud while storing less critical assets on in-house servers. Cloud services are often provided on a “pay as you go” basis, meaning you only pay for what you use. Because this is a more economical choice for many firms, scaling up and down is more straightforward as the company demands change.

 

Cost-saving

Business continuity solutions delivered through the cloud are far more cost-efficient than more conventional ways. In addition to the standard “pay as you go” consumption model, companies may subscribe to just the services they need, and subscription plans may be changed to cover more services as operations grow. Utilizing a cloud solution may also help you save money on expenditures associated with on-premises solutions, such as on-premises hardware, building upkeep, server support, and even physical security. This reduces not only substantial upfront costs, but also decreases monthly payments.

Business Continuity Planning with Cloud Computing

The cloud enables businesses to be more responsive and resilient. However, you cannot upload your data to the cloud and expect protection. Whatever difficulties might occur with your physical assets can also occur with cloud configurations; for example, Cloud service companies are subject to disruptions and downtime, natural catastrophes may disrupt anything from power systems to data centers and other critical infrastructure, IT professionals make errors, servers that are too old fail, data gets erased.

Consider the following cloud-specific concerns when developing a cloud strategy:

 

Loss of Control: Using a public or third-party cloud lets you place layers between you and your data and give up some control. If an individual owns servers, he or she may install disaster recovery software and instantly migrate to another device or spin up that server somewhere. However, once you abstract away any underlying hardware, you lose control over the system’s uptime. It becomes critical to consider the suppliers you interact with and their overall business continuity and disaster recovery strategy. 

 

Integrating Platforms Creates Dependence: When platforms interact, they create dependencies. For instance, if you use Google accounts as your authentication login and single-sign-on method and Google goes down, you will be unable to access your SaaS application or cloud-based system. When we begin layering on these connectors, we do not necessarily consider what would happen if the integration fails. Integrations increase the number of objects to monitor, increasing the danger of a data breach or leak.

 

Due Diligence: It is your responsibility to do due diligence in order to understand how providers function and plan for interruptions. Assume that not all data is always safeguarded and backed up. Always be on the lookout for a backup. Additionally, you should back up your SaaS systems. 

 

Migration plan: Consider data transfer plans and negotiate with your service provider the return of any recovered data in-house. For example, if you have a copy of your data, how do you transfer it into another system or restore it into the present system? Re-importing might be more time-consuming than you’d want. In certain instances, you may need to employ an IT firm for assistance.

Conclusion and recommendations

Technology advances at a breakneck speed, and you must ensure that you are employing it to enhance the effectiveness of your disaster recovery plan. Understanding how your IT investments correspond with business goals and which apps may be migrated to the cloud might help you enhance your environment quickly. Following are some mindsets to have, be it disaster recovery planning or business continuity.

  • Approach everything with a risk-based mindset.
  • Create a high-availability environment inside your cloud provider.
  • Prepare for graceful failure in the event that your cloud provider goes down.
  • Cloud providers, particularly private cloud providers, must provide the highest levels of availability and give customers ways to govern some elements of their availability 
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