The business continuity benefits of cloud technology

Where you store your company’s data backups is vital to the success of your business continuity strategy. There are various storage media to choose from, but if you value flexibility and convenience, then you should look no further than cloud storage. Here are the benefits that the cloud offers.

Improved uptime

Many business owners think it’s enough to store copies of their files either on an external hard drive or a separate computer housed within their office. Unfortunately, this tactic can go wrong in so many ways. First, it’s possible for bad actors to steal these devices and obtain the data they contain. Second, these devices are susceptible to damage caused by local disasters, cyberattacks, and errors committed by staff. If any of these were to happen, the business would lose access to its backups and might suffer downtime.

In contrast, cloud-hosted backups are always readily accessible with an internet-connected device. Cloud servers are located off-site, so they are not vulnerable to natural disasters in your immediate locale. What’s more, cloud service providers (CSPs) are obligated to keep their servers operational at all times. They make this possible by implementing top-grade cybersecurity measures and various redundancies, such as alternate servers and power supply systems.

Fast resource provisioning

During the backup creation process, spikes in user activity and resource usage can slow down websites and applications running in the background. A CSP can help you address this issue by monitoring user activities, enabling them to see spikes before or as they happen. The provider can then provision resources and virtual machines as needed to manage the influx of users.

Control over backup frequency

Since your employees could work on files and update information throughout the day, you must back up your files as frequently as necessary. Doing so ensures that you have the latest copies of your files even after a sudden outage.

With the cloud, you no longer have to worry about the frequency of your backups. CSPs offer round-the-clock and other fixed backup frequencies, as well as custom backup schedules tailored to your business’s unique requirements. Some services can even create backups as you perform changes on your files, ensuring up-to-date information at any time.

Support for flexible work setups

With flexible working arrangements becoming more and more popular, it’s now even more imperative for your business to invest in the cloud for backup storage. External hard disks, flash drives, and other offline storage media are accessible only to employees working in the office. During events that prevent workers from going to the office, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, depending on offline backups could result in your business ceasing operations altogether.

Cloud storage is accessible anywhere and anytime. This means that no matter where they choose to work, your staff will be able to access the files they need and remain productive as long as they have an internet connection.

Businesses around the world are leveraging the power of the cloud not just to ensure their continued operations but also to support their growth. If you’re looking for a managed cloud backup service to protect your business data, give us a call today to see how we can help.

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Your business needs a business continuity plan — here’s why

Do you know why some small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) fail during the first five years of operation? Poor leadership is one reason, inadequate capital is another. Another possible cause is the lack of preparation for major disruptions like natural disasters and cyberattacks. If you want to prevent this from happening to your business, you need a business continuity plan (BCP).

What is a BCP?

A BCP is a predefined set of protocols on how your business should respond in case of an emergency or natural disaster. It contains contingency plans for every aspect of your organization, including human resources, assets, and business processes.

Key threats to business continuity

Various types of threats can affect SMBs such as:

  • Natural disasters: These are natural phenomena such as floods, storms, earthquakes, and wildfires.
  • Man-made disasters: These include cyberattacks, intentional sabotage, and human negligence.
  • Equipment and utility failures: These include unexpected power failures, internet downtime, and disruption of communication services.

How to build an effective BCP

If your company does not have a BCP in place, now is a good time to create one. These steps will help you formulate an effective BCP that will ensure your company keeps running even during a major crisis.

  1. Perform a risk assessment
    To create an effective BCP, it’s important to identify the risks to prioritize. Start by identifying potential threats that may impact your daily operations. List down as well industry risks, geographical area, rising trends, and issues that your stakeholders may encounter. Next, categorize the risks based on the level of impact, likelihood of occurrence, or other criteria.Once risks have been identified and a plan has been developed, carefully identify any possible gaps. Collaborate with your team to identify any weak points in the plan, and make changes as necessary.
  2. Perform a business impact analysis (BIA)
    A BIA will help you determine how a disruption can affect your company’s current functions, processes, personnel, equipment, technology, and physical infrastructure. IT will also help you calculate the potential financial and operational loss from each function and process affected.
  3. Identify your recovery options
    Identify key resources for restoring your business to minimum operational levels. Some recovery options you can take include using data backups, allowing employees to work from home or operating from a secondary location.
  4. Document the plan
    Make a record of the BCP and store the document in a secure location, preferably an off-site one to reduce the risks of loss or damage in case of a disaster.
  5. Test and train
    Once your BCP is in place, your continuity team needs to perform tests regularly to identify gaps and make necessary changes to ensure the plan’s effectiveness. They also need to conduct regular employee training so that everyone knows their respective roles should a disaster strike.

Having an effective BCP is a great way to ensure your business can quickly recover after a major disaster. If you’re thinking about creating a BCP for your company but don’t know where to start, give us a call today.

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