No matter where your business is located, there is always the risk of a natural disaster coming in and upending everything you have been working hard to keep secure. Whether it is a tornado, earthquake, hurricane, or other, the physical premises of your business can be vulnerable to harm if not utter destruction.
You cannot afford to assume that you will have time in advance to prepare for whatever disaster is coming your way. Storms can change directions, and intensity of the disaster’s propulsion can increase without warning. Occasionally, disasters can occur immediately after one another. Often, nearby infrastructure is severely taxed or damaged. It is possible that your business location’s physical structure will have lost enough structural integrity that it is not safe to enter. These are worst-case scenarios but they are certainly within the realm of possibility. That makes it well worth your time to ask if you have the correct disaster-response plan ready.
The number one concern in the event of any on-coming disaster is people’s safety. Getting your employees out of harm’s way has to be your main priority in the short window of time you have, whether it is a day or mere minutes. After that, you can focus on securing your data – if you have the ability to do so. In your response to the disaster, you will have to check for internet connectivity and the physical maintenance of your server, if it is on-site. If power is out and there is substantial damage, your data is vulnerable. Even if you are paying for a back-up secondary site to store data, the costs for the support staff and the facilities can be massive.
This is where the cloud can be your best friend.
Faster Recovery Time
In the era prior to cloud storage, recovery time after a disaster was enormous and resulted in substantial financial losses. Transferring data from one server to another required losing days in order to reload absolutely everything – assuming you were able to recover it all in the first place. This resulted in loss of revenue and more money spent on IT processes, making site-based servers much less efficient in terms of time and money in the long run.
Cloud storage, on the other hand, allows for you to relocate to a temporary spot – wherever that may be – and access whatever it is that you need. Even if you are relocating to a few different spots over time and spread out, even into another city, there should not be any interruptions to the flow of your business, allowing for continuity and communication.
This ability to recover in such a short period of time has radically changed disaster recovery options for businesses. Cloud technology offers the option of greater stability and continuity for businesses that experience any kind of external disruption, from a power outage lasting a few hours to a severe calamity that can level an entire city. This gives clients and other stakeholders in the business enormous peace of mind. Their data is secure and not vulnerable to loss or theft. Furthermore, you can quickly communicate with them in the time immediately following the disaster to assure them of their data’s security. They can access whatever data they may need. This can mean the difference between maintaining a functioning and vibrant business or having to close your doors for good.
In this age of data breaches and cyber hacking, some businesses wonder if the cloud is as secure as it is purported to be. In truth, nothing is going to be 100% secure. However, cloud hosts make it their business to provide high-level security for your data. No matter what your business is: your attention cannot be on the security of your data at all times. Your vital data will be much more secure with a reputable cloud host because they constantly stay on top of security.
Part of this security involves your cloud host helping you design a disaster-recovery plan. A properly thought out plan takes into consideration the optimal recovery time as well as a realistic recovery point. If you need absolutely everything downloaded into a secondary server, your plan can allow this to happen in a matter of minutes or hours. If you do not need absolutely everything right away, you also have the option of scalability. Determine what you need to access in the following hours or days. In the weeks that follow that need may change, and with scalability in the cloud host you can adjust your needs in the time of recovery.
It is important to plan regularly scheduled tests of your disaster-recovery plans: do this at least quarterly. A plan could appear absolutely fool-proof in theory, but once given actual practice, you will see where there are holes. Make sure that employees know what their roles are clearly – any turnover of staff should include training new employees on these disaster-recovery steps. You will need to know how to communicate with the cloud host as well as one another. This may seem basic but in the event of a natural disaster when tensions and emotions are running high, communication breakdowns can happen. Do not assume that somebody else will take care of everything that needs doing. Run-throughs are a great way to see how people respond and how quickly information can be accessed. Furthermore, telling your clients that you prepare for emergencies in this way will give them greater confidence in your ability to maintain stability at all times.
Essentially, cloud storage provides businesses with much more flexibility than traditional on-site servers. Natural disasters can destroy buildings and everything in them, but they do not have to destroy the heart of your business. As long as your business operations’ physical premises are fully insured AND you have cloud storage, your business losses should be minimal in the event of a disaster. In the event that you decide your business would be better suited in another city or state, data vulnerability should not be a concern with cloud storage.
Moreover, cloud storage provides you with the option during times of stability to expand your clientele and your business by allowing for remote access of data. The ability to hop a plane and criss-cross the country – or the globe – and download whatever it is you need has been revolutionary for businesses all over the world. And as you grow so will your data storage needs. Cloud storage allows for quick and easy adjustment of these new requirements without the time-consuming efforts involved with on-site server upgrades.
As we’ve seen on the news or perhaps even experienced personally, natural disasters can occur when we least expect them. In addition to creating a well-tested disaster-response plan, making the jump to cloud based storage can ease anxieties that you or clients may have about any potential weaknesses.
Ultimately, if you have concerns about server security and the possibility of a storm or disaster affecting your business’s location, then using the cloud is worth your consideration. Be sure to contact us at Applied Innovations if you have any questions regarding cloud storage or security, and which type of cloud can help your business the most.