5 Reasons You Need to Rethink DR Today

Pat O’Day, CTO, Bluelock
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Pat O’Day, CTO, Bluelock

Pat O’Day, CTO, Bluelock

Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service, or DRaaS, is poised to very quickly take over the way businesses recover and protect their applications. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Disaster Recovery as a Service states, “By 2018, the number of organizations using disaster recovery as a service will exceed the number of organizations using traditional, syndicated recovery services.”

So, what would drive such a huge change in such a short time frame? More than 50 percent of businesses using   DRaaS instead of traditional recovery is a huge change. Why are so many businesses choosing to rethink DR today, when traditionally DR was the last item priority on their list to pay attention to?

  In the conversations I have every day with IT leaders across the country; the majority of those leaders have moved DR up into their top 5 list of priorities to address in 2016 for many of the same reasons. Here are the top five reasons that I hear consistently that are causing these innovative CIOs to rethink disaster recovery today at a faster rate than ever before.

1. IT standards are increasing  

Today all businesses are being held to a higher standard of availability and service continuity. Netflix and YouTube are always on, so your leadership and your customers also expect your business to be on and available at all times. If a disaster were to strike, many businesses who are operating legacy DR solutions would not be   able to get back up and running until days, if not weeks, after the   event, crippling the business’s ability to perform. As the standard of IT increases, the capability of the DR solution needs to rise to the occasion. 

 2. Traditional disaster recovery doesn’t work

Statistics from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council show that only 40 percent of companies today have a full DR plan. Worse still, 40 percent of those full DR plans did not work when activated. Traditional DR programs were based on a “check the box” approach   that said as long as the pieces were all in the same place; they could eventually be assembled when needed. Disaster Recovery as a Service disrupts that model by protecting entire applications in a high availability environment, available within a short period of time when needed. These   DRaaS solutions are easily tested, easily recovered, and provide recovery that will work when needed.

3. Software defined infrastructure   and cloud are changing the game

The way DR software tools like Zerto, Veeam, and Double Take have combined with different cloud architectures to   provide recovery, is disrupting every   element of how traditional DR was done. Clunky tapes are no longer in the same class as continuous data replication technologies which offering recovery point objectives of seconds instead of days. These technologies can allow customers to tailor their preferred replication technology with their preferred cloud, increasing the options available for consideration. CIOs who are most successful with RaaS take a tailored, custom approach to leverage the right technology for each application, typically through a single provide

4. IT has more to do than ever before

As non-IT business units become more reliant on technology, IT’s  job gets more complicated to host as well as recover. Many CIOs have success by identifying the least strategic projects and finding a trusted partner to work with those projects on. DRaaS is one of the best places to start for many companies because it’s a time consuming, resource-consuming project that has little strategic value outside of its   ability to work when needed.

5. As-a-Service is the new normal

Whether it is Salesforce.com, Office365,   Workday or Service Now, “as-a-Service” products have been adopted by almost every organization to some degree. Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service may not   seem like it fits with SaaS, but what IT leaders are telling me is that DRaaS is a logical next step on this “aaS” adoption curve.

Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service is  often the first time IT is the primary buyer of “as-a-Service”, and CIOs tell us this the perfect way to learn this model because it’s  often not tied to a time-sensitive deadline and it not only allows, but also encourages, ample testing so your team can get  comfortable and learn in a safe setting.

What’s really interesting is that CIOs   tell us that it’s about more than rethinking DR. Because the tools that improve DR   today are “as-a-Service” and cloud-based, they find themselves traveling along the “as-a-Service” adoption curve and DR is just a tiny part of that journey. Because   they’ve rethought DR, they also tell us they sleep better at night because DRaaS   typically performs 95-100 percent of   the time, compared to 40 percent of the time with traditional disaster recovery solutions.

“The way DR software tools like Zerto, Veeam and Double Take have combined with different cloud architectures to provide recovery, is disrupting every element of how traditional DRwas done.”

One CIO of a regional chain of retail stores and manufacturing plants shared that when his IT team was able to free up time from managing the day-to-day operations of DR synchronization and infrastructure   operations, they were suddenly able to be in more meetings with other departments. In those meetings they heard about   problems the business was having in other areas like store operations, which weren’t   considered technology problems at all. But, because IT was able to be in the room for the conversation – they were able to apply technology to solve the problem in a faster, better way than would have ever been possible before.

That’s the value CIOs tell us comes from spending the time today to rethink DR – it’s a catalyst to bigger and better IT and business transformation. CIOs, who have transformed their DR, and eventually their production, tell us they have more time for innovation, more time for process automation and that their IT staffs are more engaged, more excited, and are retained longer. They spend their time driving software and automation into longstanding business problems and leveraging big data analysis to attack business needs.

Your next step should be to identify specific buying criteria like understanding the importance of tailoring for hybrid environments, securing your data at your replication site, and the processes and people that execute your recovery assurance.  

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