With a little help from the cloud, disaster recovery is now easier than it’s ever been before – any excuse you thought you had has just disappeared
Even for the biggest and most organised businesses, things can go wrong. Just two months ago, London-based fashion retailer ASOS found this out the hard way when a fire hit its main distribution centre in Barnsley.
If there’s one good thing that came out of the story, it’s the fact that it put the topic of disaster recovery (DR) back into the minds of company owners across the UK.
DR is a slightly misleading term, as it’s as much about preparation as it is recovery. The idea is to ensure disruption is kept to an absolute minimum should something uncontrollable happen; getting the planning stage right is without doubt the most important part of achieving this. Having a back-up system, then, is essential – but you must make sure it’s as strong and reliable as the primary set-up.
In the past, this was easier said than done. Stumping up enough cash to secure a back-up system as well as the initial infrastructure is a lot to ask of any firm; this is perhaps why so many scrimped on their safety nets, only to regret it later when they were actually forced to fall back on them.
The cloud has changed the game, though. The flexibility it offers is great for everyday operations, and that’s what tends to be talked about most, but think about the possibilities for DR. For a start, you’re in the position to set everything up to be ready at the touch of a button. Then, you can shut down and stop paying for the non-critical parts until they’re needed. Here’s hoping that time won’t come, but if it does, you’ll be prepared.
You can’t always stop things like fires, and you certainly can’t stop floods and other “acts of God” – but what you can do is make sure you’re ready to bounce back quickly, should they hit your business. The cloud has just made it even easier.