If the past few years have shown us anything, it’s that business disruption can occur at any time and that not all disruption can be predicted; we have been living through one of the biggest periods of disruption in the post-war era and it came, seemingly, from nowhere. The pandemic has also emphasised business’ increasing dependence on digital technologies and has highlighted the importance of business continuity and disaster recovery to protect organisations against disruption.
Business continuity – the show must go on
Business continuity is a proactive process of putting protocols in place to ensure that all mission-critical aspects of an organisation can continue operating in the face of a disruptive event (including technology, applications, IT processes, data and business facilities). Even the smallest amount of downtime can have a profoundly negative impact on a business so all organisations should have a business continuity plan in place to cover anything from flooding and IT disruption to supplier issues, although most would probably admit that a global pandemic didn’t form part of that plan … until now.
Why disaster recovery is important
Disaster recovery is more reactive than business continuity and, in many ways, an element of it. A disaster recovery plan identifies specific steps that need to be taken when technology is disrupted after an incident (e.g. natural disasters, cyber attacks, IT failures). It assumes that the primary site is not functional for a period of time and involves the identification of critical IT systems and networks, and the documentation of steps to restart and reconfigure systems and networks. Many organisations don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, or don’t sufficiently test the ones they have, which puts them in a very vulnerable position.
Protecting our clients from disruption
Organisations that have on premise IT have complete responsibility for ensuring the safety of servers, IT estate and data, including data back-up. So, if a major incident occurs, they need to keep things running and reinstate activities themselves, and they must fight on many fronts to protect their operations. As dependence on technology increases, off premise data centres will play an ever greater role in business continuity. Many companies struggled to access their on-site IT at the height of the pandemic, which caused significant issues, particularly for those with disparate IT set up across various buildings and locations. Our clients, however, experienced little or no impact on the management of their IT infrastructure. They were still able to access their IT as before, or take advantage of our remote engineering services if they were unable to come on site, for whatever reason, which was a real benefit, according to Ian Mace, our Data Centre Manager:
We have been receiving very positive feedback from our clients about the seamless continuation of our services and have noticed that many companies are thinking, right now, about consolidating their IT in one datacentre location and implementing a hybrid model to prepare themselves in case of a repeat of this current lockdown situation.
Because we deal with risk assessment and risk management every day, we have robust disaster recovery and business continuity protocols in place, and any business that has moved its IT infrastructure and workloads to our facility is protected by those. These protocols cover any potential disruption including IT-related (outage, cyber breach), natural disaster, supply chain disruption, and interruption to utility supply. We have the capacity to undertake rigorous testing to prevent issues occurring, as well as infrastructure redundancy (power, cooling and data back-up), resilient infrastructure that exceeds the requirements of Tier 3, and a 100% uptime SLA for complete peace of mind.
On occasion, our clients’ workplaces may become unusable for reasons beyond their control so we can help by sourcing workplace recovery suites; shared or dedicated office space, with internet access, conferencing facilities and AV equipment, enabling them to get critical operations running again. Our clients also have the added advantage of being able to tap into the broad range of services offered by our partner network, which makes them more resilient and able to act quickly when needs are identified.
Find out how we can help
Disaster recovery and business continuity are two significant reasons given by our clients behind the decision to locate their business-critical IT and workloads in our colocation facility, and it’s easy to see why; taking advantage of our robust disaster recovery and business continuity processes is a much more cost effective and reliable way of ensuring that your organisation isn’t negatively impacted by unforeseen disruption. To find out more about protecting and future-proofing your operations through colocation, get in touch or book a tour of our Farnborough facility.