Disaster Recovery Belongs in the Cloud

Disaster recovery — the ability to get an organization up and running after a major event or disruption — is important for every business, that’s a given. But when it’s a public sector organization, one governed by legislation and regulatory issues, effective disaster recovery becomes absolutely crucial.

By Samuel Shannon

Disaster recovery and business continuity are key in the public sector where the delivery of critical government services in education, social welfare and healthcare depends on keeping systems up and running at all times. The inevitable result of failure for public sector organizations is financial loss, failure to meet internal and external targets and most importantly of all, interruptions in critical service delivery.

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Why is it more important for the public sector?

Consider healthcare as an example; as the NHS adopts electronic health records and paperless environments, more and more critical information and clinical data needs to be assessed in real time. As a result, downtime must be avoided and effective disaster recovery plans become necessary. Taking it even further, beyond documentation, and organizations like the NHS have to ensure that their systems and networks are always available because they’re critical, not only for administration purposes, but for helping deliver lifesaving treatments on a daily basis.

Is disaster recovery enough?

While having a disaster recovery strategy, one that has been developed and implemented based on the unique needs of an organization, testing the approach and ensuring that will work as it should isn’t always possible. According to research conducted by the DR Preparedness Council, 75% of organizations they surveyed didn’t think they would be able to recover from a disaster — even though almost a third of respondents in the 2014 Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark Survey had a fully documented disaster recovery plan.

Disaster recovery as a service to the rescue

The cloud brings private and public sector organizations alike a number of benefits, from flexibility and scalability, to enhanced agility and cost savings. When it comes to disaster recovery, or disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), cloud can also deliver benefits. DRaaS allows organizations to rapidly recover data and helps them efficiently resume operations following an event or disaster — getting them back to business as usual as quickly and seamlessly as possible. A cloud-based solution can also ensure that the disaster recovery function is aligned with other critical business services.

Related: Crafting a Cloud Disaster Recovery Plan

Beyond disaster recovery

Cloud-based solutions extend the benefits beyond just the disaster recovery service. With the help of service providers or in-house IT, public sector organizations can use cloud to better support IT environments, simplify recovery processes and be more flexible in what can be recovered, and the manner it can be recovered. So while cloud has certainly proved itself in all other areas of the business, the time for cloud-based disaster recovery is upon us.