Internet Service Providers are in a unique position to offer their clients disaster recovery solutions that cover a broad area of disaster recovery.
ISPs are emerging as critical providers to small and medium companies (SMEs).
In many cases, ISPs provide SMEs with their internet connectivity as well as their voice over IP telephony via their broadband connection. Most SME companies would be in deep trouble without internet connectivity.
With SME companies consuming more and more services that are offered in the cloud, with their own internet sites and telephony services all accessed through the ISP, it is clear that ISPs are in a unique position to take responsibility for the ongoing wellbeing of an SME in terms of disaster recovery.
ISPs should consider offering disaster recovery services to their client base.
Each year, 25% of all PCs experience some form of failure (source: Gartner), 24% of companies experience a full data disaster (source: Forrester) and 95% of companies experience a data outage (source: Ponemon Institute).
Smaller ISPs are focused on providing their clients with good, fast connectivity services and even though in many cases a number of value-added services are offered as well, it is clear in dealing with these companies that the focus of their support staff - and the big earning product - is their connectivity services.
The area of disaster recovery is a huge potential market for ISPs to capitalize on, and they can do this without the need for any major investments in resources and staff.
The estimated growth of the disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) industry is expected to grow from $640m to $5.7 billion between 2013 and 2018 .
An ideal way to enter this field is for an ISP to partner with experts and to offer a disaster recovery product as a reseller or partner, which is then supported and implemented by the third party partner.
Products and services that can be offered include:
- An off-site online backup service
- Cloud-based anti-virus / anti-malware / device control services
- VOIP telephony services for recovery purposes
- Full business continuity services
Often an ISP will offer a service such as an off-site, online backup service, but these are typically not properly serviced. The technical staff often doesn't understand the details of the products on offer and cannot resolve urgent technical issues that a client may have.
An IT disaster where data is lost is just one type of disaster that can befall a business.
Two other disasters, both of which happen much more frequently, are theft from premises and fire at premises. In both these cases, the services of an ISP are essential in getting a company back up and running as quickly as possible.
Restoring corporate data to a VM server and enabling connectivity and getting telephony services on track are the two key aspects of disaster recovery and business continuity.
As one can see, the opportunity for an ISP to offer value-added services over and above connectivity is huge. Furthermore, partnering with a reputable provider is key to enabling the retention of focus.