How topical it is to write about disaster recovery, when our electricity grid run by Eskom is so close to total collapse? What will happen to your business, should this happen? How does one keep it all going when our basic infrastructure is under serious threat?
The reality is that you want your business to continue trading no matter how badly run, under-resourced and lacking in planning our infrastructure-providing state-owned enterprises are.
How do you do this in as cost effective a manner as possible? Do you want to go through a disaster recovery plan or do you want to do effective business continuity planning and be in a position where your plans are in place to deal with disasters?
There are two areas of discussion regarding disaster recovery and the use of the cloud.
The first is that you can leverage cloud technology and put in place infrastructure at your premises that, when combined with cloud technology, can provide your business with continuity of systems.
The second is the beautiful system we are crafting to enable a business to fully plan their business continuity strategies in the cloud - what we call cloud-based disaster recovery - and to activate plans to enable disaster recovery when a disaster strikes.
I would like to focus on cloud-based disaster recovery in this article. How does one use cloud-based business continuity software in order to enable disaster recovery?
Business continuity software is typically complex and difficult to use and really only used by larger companies that have to meet certain regulatory criteria in terms of planning for disaster recovery. In South Africa, these are typically financial services companies and companies in the health industry.
A business continuity plan should be a dynamic plan, capable of being changed and altered during a simulation or activation.
It should also keep a full audit trail of all activity and dialogue in the execution of the plan. Business continuity plans should be live systems that, when activated, trigger events and communications with all of the role players by email, SMS and chat protocols. When an activation is completed, one should immediately be able to review the activation of the plan and see all communications and timings of events, plot the deviations from the plan and then be in a position to adopt the deviations as part of a revised plan.
We believe that all companies should have cloud-based disaster recovery plans in place and we are close to releasing our IronTree business continuity software. The beauty of this software is numerous and includes the following:
Free offering for smaller businesses and monthly payments for medium and larger businesses
Hosted on Amazon Cloud Services
Fully responsive design that runs on PCs, tablets and phone devices
Works in activated and simulation mode
Scheduled simulation reminders are sent to plan owner to ensure that they run simulation exercises when scheduled to do so.
A business continuity plan is not a dry document that sits in a drawer and gathers dust. If that is the case then it will become outdated and overtaken by events and will be of no use when disaster recovery actions are required.
We will be offering our business continuity service as a cloud-based disaster recovery service from early February 2015, free for small businesses and very affordable for larger enterprises.