Hurricane season is upon us, but you don’t know what your business continuity plan entails? Larger catastrophes like Hurricane Sandy prove that one single natural disaster can yield up to $25 billion in lost business activity. More recently, the 2014 ice storm that crippled Atlanta and the late-April severe flooding that affected Pensacola, Florida – the state saw its heaviest rains in 130 years – similarly struck business owners where it hurts most: their wallets.
In today’s “Internet-always” economy, where even social media is being harnessed for crisis management efforts, you have to have precautions in place. If you rely primarily on web-based applications to run your business, you need to guarantee your Internet is always up and running. In such a case, the cloud would be a great place to start your business continuity plan.
Research shows that your competitors are likely taking this step, too. The adoption of cloud for disaster recovery and business continuity grew from 17.9 percent to almost 30 percent from mid to late 2013 – and that number is only growing.
Your first step should be choosing a trusted cloud hosting provider to help you in the process. Between integration and interoperability issues, you need a quality partner that will help you every step of the way. Knowing your needs will play a critical role in determining what works best for you. Here’s what you should generally look for in a cloud hosting provider:
- High-performance capabilities: This can include full root access, leading network infrastructure and superior connectivity.
- Relief for your in-house IT: You want to be able to focus on your business while your hosted provider takes on the day-to-day management.
- Customization: No two businesses are the same; therefore, your company’s business continuity strategy cannot be “one size fits all.” Your cloud hosting provider should offer you autonomy in what services you choose in creating the optimal hosting environment.
- Reliability: This one is a given: You need 100 percent network uptime. Also consider what the provider’s hardware guarantees look like.
- Always-on support: A quality hosting provider will never leave you hanging and should have data center experts staffed 24x7x365.
Downtime in any form can cause serious, often irreversible damage, but there’s no need to worry when you have a trusted hosted provider backing you up – literally.