Re-thinking Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery in the Age of Big Data and the Cloud

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A Guest Post Contributed by Jeffrey M. Kaplan

The explosive growth of data and the growing recognition that more and more organizations are dependent on this data to run their day-to-day operations has put more pressure on IT professionals to reexamine how they define and back up their mission-critical applications and corporate information to safeguard their business operations. Fortunately, there is a new generation of Cloud-based disaster recovery and business continuity solutions that can meet these needs and mitigate the risks of a service outage.

Organizations of all sizes across nearly every industry are becoming increasingly dependent on a growing volume of data to run their businesses. In fact, IDC expects “Big Data” technology and services will grow six times faster than the overall information and communications technology (ICT) market through 2017.

Unfortunately, individual employees generally don’t think about how they are storing and safeguarding their data. In those cases where the employees are concerned about backing up their data, they’ll often look for the easiest and lowest cost solution, and discover the hard way the service they’ve chosen doesn’t offer the reliability and response times they need when a problem occurs.

Therefore, it is imperative for IT organizations to make sure valuable data is being properly protected and is readily available to internal users, as well as customers and partners whenever appropriate. Traditional back-up and recovery services were designed for more static and centralized data requirements of the past. They can also be especially costly and cumbersome for small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs). Surprisingly, many IT professionals have accepted the status quo and believe that their data availability needs are being met. According to CloudEndure’s recent disaster recovery survey, 79% have set service availability goals of 99.9% or better, but 26% don’t measure actual service availability.

Enlightened IT organizations are no longer trying to combat the adoption of Cloud-based solutions (aka “Shadow IT”) by their corporate end-users and executives. Instead, they are recognizing that the new generation of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and other Cloud services offers tangible business benefits in addition to faster time to value at a lower total cost of ownership. As a result, they are serving as internal advisors helping their business units make the right choices. THINKstrategies has participated in an Annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey, sponsored by North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOM Research, which has been tracking the market drivers, inhibitors and opportunities in cloud computing. The most recent survey of 855 business users, IT decision makers and cloud vendors in 2013 found six of the top seven fastest Cloud growth areas are in IT management, including business continuity/disaster recovery.

IT organizations are discovering Cloud services that can help them perform their IT management tasks more effectively. These solutions can mitigate the risks of data loss and accelerate the data retrieval and replication processes that are essential to performing critical work processes in today’s more dynamic business environment.

Jeffrey Kaplan

Jeffrey Kaplan is the Managing Director of THINKstrategies, founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace and host of the Cloud Innovators Summit series. He can be reached at [email protected]

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