Moving to cloud will ensure business continuity during uncertain times

Mansoor Sarwar, Regional Director at Sage Middle East explains the benefits of moving the core business lines to the cloud to ensure business continuity.

Business leaders dedicate the bulk of their time to strategising for growth and longevity by equipping their organisations with the data and technology required to get things done smarter and faster. However, as is often the case, one small crisis like a security breach or a natural disaster can significantly compromise your business data and disrupt business continuity. To ensure your organisation is capable of weathering such events with minimum interruption, you need to put proper safeguards in place and develop an effective business continuity plan.

Mansoor Sarwar, Regional Technical Director, Sage

Here are six benefits of moving core business lines to the cloud for business continuity purposes and the contingent risks if you have not already migrated.

1. Faster recovery time
One of the advantages of operating in the cloud is that you can back up your entire server. All the information, systems and applications are grouped into one software block or to a virtual server for easy recovery. This can be managed in minutes compared to older software with questionable restoration times.

2. Lower set-up and recovery costs
Recovery efforts for cloud-based operations are more cost-efficient to implement and execute than traditional backup methods. Traditional backup involves the relatively expensive step of setting up physical servers at a remote location. The cloud, on the other hand, enables you to outsource as many hardware and software resources as you need while paying only for what you use.

Downtime can set back a business hundreds of thousands to millions in labour costs spent recovering or redoing lost work. In some cases, an eight-hour downtime window can cost small companies and enterprises millions. Cloud access mitigates this risk so you’re back to generating revenue faster.

3. No location ties
Choosing the right physical location for a disaster recovery facility is critical because if the facility is affected by the same disaster, important information may be lost forever. Having your primary and backup servers in the same location can spell trouble in case of a fire, a hurricane, or a flood. With cloud technology, you can rest assured that your backup facility is located in another part of the world if disaster strikes.

4. Easier recovery of fixed assets
What about the fixed assets of your business – tangible things like desks, chairs, and equipment? You need to give your insurance provider an accurate record of purchasing costs and depreciation to start your recovery process. What if that data is damaged in the event as well? Safeguarding that information in the cloud can ensure quick recovery. In the event of a natural disaster, for instance, you can quickly access insurance information to file a claim and receive recovery assistance according to your policy.

5. Coverage as the business grows
Compared to physical systems, cloud backup is virtually limitless. As your organisation grows, your cloud solution grows with you without risking the additional data workload. In addition to saving money by only paying for the storage space you need, you also have the option of easily adding extra storage.

6. Better security against cyber threats
When large enterprises are hit with a data security breach, it often makes front-page news. In truth, however, small businesses are more susceptible to data compromise because they don’t have the resources required to combat today’s savvy cyber-criminal.

Operating in the cloud enables you to back up and restore your business-critical files in case they are compromised. Let’s face it: when it comes to physical security of their data and facilities, small and medium-sized businesses can only do so much to prevent breaches. On the other hand, cloud software vendors can employ stronger physical security measures at their facilities to ensure data safety. Likewise, IT support providers are equipped to prevent data loss from natural disasters, power outages, and common errors. What’s more, they can also provide a well-documented disaster recovery plan, so you don’t have to start from scratch.

Final thoughts
Unplanned events such as the COVID-19 crisis expose some of the business blindspots no one anticipates. While most of us are reluctant to consider the possibility of a threatening event, ignoring it now could cost your business in the future. It’s worth the time and money to invest in migrating to a cloud solution that can ease your business continuity concerns and help you sleep at night.

To choose the right cloud service that supports your business continuity needs, conduct a careful assessment of different vendors in the market and find out if they have a history of serving businesses like yours. Ask each vendor to provide reports on how data is managed and accessed, and what business continuity features are in place to keep your business up and running, no matter the circumstances.