Building The Business Case for DRaaS

 

Disaster Recovery as a Service is Now Mainstream

To provide continuous IT operations and protect valuable data, more and more businesses are turning to Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). According to leading analyst firm, Gartner, “wider adoption of DRaaS can be largely attributed to the proven viability of cloud-based solutions. By 2018, Gartner estimates that the size of the DRaaS market will exceed that of the market for more traditional subscription-based DR services.”1

The following information provides tips on how to proactively build a business case for DRaaS, before your business is impacted by downtime.

Meeting Key Stakeholder Demands

In the modern business, IT availability impacts the your entire organization and your ability to serve clients. Understanding stakeholder demands can help frame your conversation and approach to building a business case for DRaaS.

Technical Teams: Deliver IT systems availability and uptime

  • Focus on operational efficiency
  • Implement, operate and maintain technical solution and tools
  • Drive coverage and compatibility of systems
  • Execute tests, failover/failback

Executives and Board: Concerned with consistently meeting client demands

  • Demand uptime and security of systems that drive service and revenue
  • May lack deep understanding of risks and recovery capabilities
  • Require confidence in protection of company’s precious assets (data + revenue)

Business Units and Customers: Drive demands for application availability

  • Create reliance on IT systems and services
  • Core source of RTO and RPO requirements
  • Direct knowledge of systems availability on projects, staff and revenue

Auditors, Insurers and Regulators: Need proof of uptime to meet specific standards

  • Require recurring proof of disaster recoverability
  • Demand significant documentation of controls and testing results
  • Consume substantial staff time and focus when needs must be met

To receive equal participation from all parties, communicate how each role’s demands will be met with your proposed DR strategy.

 

“IT must build the business case in the language that the “C” level management understands.  IT understands the need and the importance of a solid disaster recovery plan. But, talking about data and backups will glaze the eyes of management.  A better way to present a plan is explain how the plan will prevent the loss of business, profit and credibility.”

Karen Puchalsky: Founder, President and CEO, Innovate E-Commerce

Investing in Availability, Not an Insurance Policy

According to a recent survey conducted by InterVision, 60% of IT professionals consider protecting their business against technology-related disruptions “extremely important” but only 19% consider their organization’s funding for IT disaster recovery (IT-DR) to be “very good.” It’s common for organizational leadership to see investments in IT-DR as “insurance,” however an effective DRaaS solution should be focused on delivering availability for your customers and internal stakeholders.

Disaster Recovery Focus

  • Invest in an “insurance policy”
  • React to downtime and events
  • Rely on backups to store data
  • Treat DR and security separately
  • Recover in hours to days
  • Emphasis on technical infrastructure
  • Develop minimal process and reporting
  • Emphasis on avoiding “catastrophes”

IT Availability Focus

  • Invest in ability to serve clients
  • Be proactive to minimize risk
  • Failover and failback to ensure service
  • Secure recovery to protect data
  • Recover in minutes to hours
  • Emphasis on serving end users
  • Process-driven and documented
  • Emphasis on continuous improvement

“It is important to elevate the disaster recovery conversation to the business level. Begin by identifying the business process we are protecting and the underlying technology that enables that process. For the technology — the data, applications, and systems — evaluate the options for recovering it in a quick and cost effective manner. Select the recovery option, implement it, and do regular drills to ensure the process and implementation is functional and sustainable.”

– J Wolfgang Goerlich: Director of Security Strategy, CBI

 

Considering DRaaS as an investment in the ability to continuously serve clients, secure data and proactively improve operations can help open the dialogue beyond the traditional disaster recovery focus.

The Financial Impact of Downtime

Even with increased customer demands for uptime, many organizations struggle to make the business case for implementing an effective DR solution before downtime impacts them directly. With market research indicating that just one minute of downtime costs businesses $7,900 on average2, a proactive approach to disaster can mean substantial cost savings.

 

“A business case for DR and resiliency is simple: the impact of even a small loss of service is devastating to your brand(s) and the company as a whole. It cannot be measured simply in lost transactions. Loss must be measured with a social network multiplier.”

– Adam John: President, Sterling Solutions

 

To accurately understand the impact downtime can have on your business, it’s important to consider direct “hard” costs as well as “soft” indirect costs.

Examples of direct costs:

  • Lost revenue
  • Breach of customer contracts or service level agreements
  • Lost inventory or supplies
  • Non-compliance fines

Examples of indirect costs:

  • Reputational damage
  • Brand impact
  • Negative publicity
  • Loss of competitive advantage
Your Organization’s Options to Evolve

Based on the types of products or services your organization provides, your clients and stakeholders will have different IT availability expectations. However, as reliance on technology continues to grow, you can logically expect those expectations and requirements to grow in parallel.

IT Availability Model

Availability Options Model

Understanding where your organization falls within this “IT Availability Model” can help outline options as your IT requirements grow. It’s important to understand not every business needs to maintain a fully active-active IT environment.  Consider matching your business goals to your budget when selecting the right technology solution.