A disaster may be unavoidable. Predicting misfortune isn’t an exact science. However, recovering from such an event can and should be planned well in advance. With the sizable amount of valuable data generated daily, the risk of losing this information becomes a going concern for businesses of all size. Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is becoming a viable option for the SMB space. Should it be?
What is DRaaS and is it contagious
DRaaS is a cloud based solution that allows for the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a 3rd party to provide data recovery in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe. This enables failover of virtual machines to secure cloud locations. The modern business climate is more likely to be disrupted by a human generated event than a natural one. Malicious attacks, honest user error, upgrade issues and a bad line of code can do just as much damage as a storm. As with most services accessed via the cloud, DRaaS is a pay as you need solution and is configured to operate in the background as it automatically performs backups of critical systems and data. If your business needs ‘n’ TB of storage, you only need to pay for ‘n’ TB of storage. This flexibility allows SMBs to scale accordingly to match evolving business needs.
Solutions such asbut not limited to Microsoft Azure Site Recovery, Quorum onQ Hybrid Cloud Solution, Zetta Backup and Recovery, and Carbonite Server Backup all offer DRaaS to the SMB market. A careful evaluation of business needs will narrow down the list of providers and match an SMB with a reliable solution.
Who’s buying this?
AMI’s Disaster Recovery and Online Back-up as a Service report forecasts the global market for disaster recovery services to exceed $6B by 2019. DRaaS can be viewed as an insurance product against disruptive events. An offsite vendor is less likely to suffer the same direct and immediate effects of an event and therefore will be able to function as normal and restore data with minimal delay.
So why should I pay for this?
Bad things happen, both accidental and deliberate – C’est la vie! Businesses of all sizes are subject to human error. An employee can leave a notebook on a train or a smartphone in a coffee shop. Worse, these items can be purposefully stolen. A hurricane can form in the Atlantic and make landfall in key coastal markets. From a cyber perspective, firms can be targeted in an attack and have sensitive data compromised. According to AMI’s DRaaS report, 24% of SMBs with between 50 – 249 employees who are current DRaaS users reported losing a notebook and 30% said they were subject to some form of electronic attack. A hard drive failure can have many causes, whether from a cyber attack or just an unfortunate case of ghosts in the machine. With 37% of this segment reporting such a failure, the decision to adopt DRaaS seems worthwhile. The percentages for all three of the aforementioned examples are higher for the SMBs that are planning on using DRaaS in the future.
Downtime isn’t so bad…is it?
Downtime can negatively impact the reputation of a business, alter customer loyalty, and hamper employee productivity. So, if the aforementioned are of little concern, then downtime isn’t so bad. Alternatively, downtime can be very bad. A one-time event is easy to recover from, but multiple episodes can really turn things south for a business. Customers will not view a business as reliable and employees can lose momentum as they sit idle waiting for services to be restored. Frustration can set in and productivity will drop.
A day late and a dollar short
Awareness of DRaaS does not match adoption. As seen in a recent AMI tweet, 75% of SMBs don’t actively consider acquiring DRaaS until after a disruptive event impacts their business.
Data points are growing as more devices are equipped to capture and transmit information. Data coming from manufacturing, healthcare, finance, professional services, and retail contribute to this growing stockpile of digital information. Businesses are learning better ways to utilize this information to provide more targeted solutions to customers. Losing immediate access to this data, or worse, permanently losing access to this data, can damage operations.
Spending per firm on DRaaS will increase in the coming years. The type of data and the sensitive nature of such warrants spending on higher-end services down the road. DRaaS is more expensive and comprehensive than traditional online backup, but with increasing threats from malicious players looking to infiltrate systems (not to mention more intense storms in the Atlantic and an aging electrical grid in the US), DRaaS will become a viable option for the SMB space.
Andrew Svonavec | Associate