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Businesses consider cloud viable option for disaster recovery


Enterprises approach disaster recovery through various means, though many opt for the cloud.

Enterprises are in relentless pursuit of innovative business phone systems, backup technologies and other advanced IT services that can improve their ability to keep operations on pace with demand, regardless of external circumstances. This means that organizations want the ability to quickly restore mission-critical information, applications and systems in the wake of a natural or man-made disaster, as failing to do so will only make companies more vulnerable.

It is common knowledge that the longer an organization's crucial systems are down, the more likely that company will not be able to reopen its doors. This is due to several factors, namely that consumers just don't care about an enterprise's problems. For the most part, customers demand the ability to communicate with corporate representatives at all times, even when a business is struggling to survive. If a firm cannot meet these needs, it risks losing those clients to a competitor that has the tools in place to provide high-quality service at all times.

For this reason, among others, enterprise decision-makers are seeking the most advanced disaster recovery technologies on the market. In many cases, these solutions incorporate the cloud. A hosted PBX solution, for example, enables companies to bring communications back online - if they fail in the first place - in the wake of an emergency. As a result, employees can collaborate with colleagues, contact center representatives can interact with clients and other crucial communication projects can be revived, allowing businesses to continue functioning.

Cloud caters to disaster recovery needs

The benefits of leveraging the cloud for continuity purposes are known far and wide in the business world. This was highlighted in a recent study of 500 IT professionals by a major telecommunications provider, which found that 76 percent of respondents are already using the cloud in some way or planning to this year. In many cases, decision-makers are incorporating the hosted services into their infrastructure, as doing so makes it easier to restore mission-critical solutions without delay.

"Companies today are very aware and concerned about the potential threats that could disrupt their operations. With their business continuity plans in place, businesses are investing in new technologies like network-enabled cloud services to help strengthen and expand their overall continuity strategies," mobile, cloud and access management expert Michael Singer said.

The survey found that 66 percent of IT professionals are using or planning to deploy cloud services to give their disaster recovery programs a boost. While many organizations have deployed storage solutions, other executives opt for communication-based technologies, such as cloud VoIP and other collaborative tools that can keep internal and external interactions efficient in the aftermath of an emergency.

A separate InformationWeek report highlighted how incorporating the cloud into recovery and continuity projects enables enterprise executives to regularly test the programs to ensure all critical applications and information can be restored in the event of a disaster. Meanwhile, cloud-enabled technologies make it easier to automate and orchestrate the entire restoration process, allowing organizations to focus on other mission-critical operations, such as interacting with clients and generating sales.

Don't overlook communication

In many cases, enterprises are so caught up in guaranteeing that sensitive information is recoverable that they forget about double-checking that communications applications will have the ability to get back online in the event of a disaster. To avoid this problem, decision-makers should consider implementing a cloud-based office phone system, as this will provide numerous communication and overall performance benefits to the company as a whole.

A hosted PBX system, for example, supports connectivity to any mobile device, including smartphones, tablets and other gadgets, regardless of operating system. This means that when an enterprise is trying to recover from a disaster, executives have the option to support a remote workforce, allowing individuals to work from home or somewhere else that still has an Internet connection. As a result, employees can continue to carry out business tasks, ensuring the organization doesn't fall too far behind solely because they fell victim of an unforeseen natural or man-made disaster.

As the cloud matures and evolves, enterprises will continue to see the benefits associated with using the hosted services, especially in regard to developing a robust disaster recovery program. Because the cloud landscape is relatively new and unfamiliar to much of the business world, however, it is critical that executives take the time to map out their strategies, ensuring they select the appropriate cloud services and tactics.

By planning ahead and working with a trusted service provider, companies can leverage cloud technologies that align with their specific long-term objectives without any compromises. This will mitigate a number of complications that could otherwise introduce significant performance and efficiency obstacles for the business world.