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A Simple Way to Make the Case for DRaaS

Why move forward with DRaaS (Disaster Recovery)
February 23, 2016 / Evolve IP

In our highly interconnected world, the requirements of technology and infrastructure are continually evolving and the roles and responsibilities related to designing and implementing Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity (BC) are changing. As you pursue opportunities to reduce risk exposure, while increasing the strategic value of your department, you’ve likely discovered Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS). As a cloud-based service, DRaaS provides data loss prevention and business continuity options that reduce complexities of disaster recovery, mitigating the effects of a disruptive event. It’s becoming less a question of whether organizations benefit from DRaaS and more a question of how painful (or damaging) it will be to continue to manage premise-based data centers.

“…companies have to be very schizophrenic. On one hand, they have to maintain continuity of strategy. But they also have to be good at continuously improving.” ~Michael Porter

Cloud-based services can boost the speed and agility of IT infrastructure paving a path to performance and a new way of operating. But if cloud-based services are new to your organization, your adoption may be met with resistance. Perceived ambiguity and risk around your initiatives are sure ways to derail your efforts. Addressing relative advantage, observability, trialability, compatibility, and complexity – the five pillars of the widely accepted Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) – will significantly improve your ability to drive change and gain support for implementing DRaaS …and other cloud-based initiatives!

Speaking Points to Influence the Acceptance of a DRaaS Solution

  1. Relative Advantage – the degree to which DRaaS is perceived as being better than the solution/strategy it is replacing.

People, processes and technologies are all prone to flaws. Cloud-based services such as DRaaS mitigate risk exposure through automated, off-site backup. In addition to peace of mind and convenience, the cloud-based model introduces flexibility and scale.

A few additional advantages to highlight:

  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) service level agreements with RPOs measured in seconds, not hours;
  • Multiple options to establish private connectivity as if the servers were still sitting at your own on-premise data center;
  • Increases reliability with automatic failover;
  • Enhances security posture adding defense, depth, and encryption; and
  • Shift CapEx to OpEx by replacing the unpredictable costs of maintaining or replacing hardware with a predictable, monthly recurring services fee.

If your organization frequently needs a secondary environment for application development, patch testing, etc., emphasize that the DRaaS platform can easily be used for this purpose.

  1. Observability – the degree to which the results of DRaaS are visible to others.

The ability to perform isolated Disaster Recovery testing during the workday without impacting production provides current DRaaS subscribers clear evidence that data is synchronized in near real time and easily accessed.

Social Proof and numbers provide visibility to the organizations that have not yet adopted DRaaS.

Since DRaaS frees your organizations from the endless cycle of purchasing, supporting, upgrading, and ultimately replacing expensive on-premise infrastructure, mapping your current spend to that of a DRaaS offering will significantly influence support. Another compelling indicator of results can be communicated through the sharing of case studies and peer references.

  1. Trialability – the degree to which DRaaS may be experimented with on a limited basis.

The easier it is to test an innovation, the higher the likelihood of adoption. Because no infrastructure is required, you can quickly and easily pilot a DRaaS solution for proof-of-concept validation. Not all DRaaS providers offer a trial yet it is a valuable and important opportunity. The trial offers an opportunity to experience the people, process, and technology before fully embracing the solution and provider.

  1. Compatibility – the degree to which DRaaS aligns with the existing values and experiences of the organization.

As a cloud-based service, it is important to communicate that technical compatibility is not factor. You can, however, draw attention to compatibility between DRaaS and the organization itself. Look for opportunities to correlate DRaaS with strategic business objectives, your organization’s mission statement and/or values. If your organization is subject to compliance and regulatory requirements, DRaaS will effectively address reporting and auditing.

  1. Complexity – the degree to which DRaaS is perceived to be difficult to implement, manage, and support.

Reducing complexity is the hallmark of DRaaS and is one of the reasons it successfully mitigates the effects of a disruptive event.

The results of Evolve IP’s “2015 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Survey” revealed that of the types and durations of losses during incidents, the highest percentage of permanent loss was of backups that were not recoverable, followed by loss of critical data. Additionally, the highest percentages of losses for one or several days were loss of network connectivity, loss of a host machine, and loss of a critical application.

Simplifying the people, process, and technology components of your DR and BC plan through DRaaS will reduce your exposure to disruption and increase your ability to retain data.

Your Journey to the Cloud

As you evaluate DRaaS and other opportunities for migrating to cloud-based services in favor of on-premises infrastructure, you’re likely to have many questions. Don’t let intimidation or lack of expertise keep you from learning more about cloud-based solutions. As the nation’s only single-source cloud services provider, we are uniquely positioned to help you navigate options and guide your journey.

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