This content is part of the Essential Guide: The modern disaster recovery market explained

3 signs you may need a business continuity service provider

Using a BC/DR service provider may give your recovery plan a much-needed boost. As new technologies and standards arise, a partner can address changing needs.

Like most businesses with a reasonably sophisticated on-premises environment, you prepare, build and execute your own business continuity and disaster recovery plan. But as any successful business grows, the environment becomes more complex, business needs change and the possibility of a critical loss of operations increases. All these factors may result in the need for a business continuity service provider to help plan and execute your BC/DR plan. But when is the right time?

You and your team might have a truly solid grasp of what it takes to back up and recover all of your operations. But, like most IT organizations, your focus turns to adopting the latest technology, enhancing security, meeting compliance standards and utilizing cloud services.

Somewhere in all of this expansion, evolution and growth of the IT environment, the time may come when you realize that you cannot address the organization's BC/DR needs on your own. A business continuity service provider can assist with everything from crafting your BC/DR plan, to helping you test and execute it, to providing the infrastructure needed for a successful recovery.

When to enlist a business continuity service provider

There are a few specific circumstances that demonstrate it's time to begin looking for outside assistance with your BC/DR plan. You should be considering a recovery partner when you realize:

  1. You no longer have sufficient recovery expertise. Restoring an entire virtual machine (VM) image is easy enough. But when your recovery involves dealing with complex OS and application dependencies, developing recovery automation and/or using platforms you required assistance to set up and maintain in the first place, it's time to bring on a partner.
  2. There comes a time for every business when it realizes the benefit and value of using the cloud as a recovery destination.
    You lack the internal resources. You may have the infrastructure and staffing to handle small emergencies. But as the organization's operational availability and resiliency demands change, you may find yourself with a lack of sufficient staffing and/or infrastructure to accommodate true "disasters," where a loss of location or operations occurs. The decision to bring in a partner because of a lack of internal resources should be a proactive one, likely made during a regular review of your BC/DR plan.
  3. You need to take advantage of cloud infrastructure. If your business has survived with strictly recovering on premises, more power to you. But there comes a time for every business when it realizes the benefit and value of using the cloud as a recovery destination. The moment this happens, it's critical to understand that your cloud infrastructure needs are likely more than just an ability to spin up VMs. It's at the moment you decide, "Hmm, maybe we should recover into the cloud," that you should begin your search for a business continuity service provider.

Partner up for better BC/DR

The idea of using a partner is so that you have someone with your best interests at heart who will take you somewhere you've never been. BC/DR is one of those unknowns -- so much that even a simple recovery can turn into a nightmare. And when you consider how convoluted your environment may actually be to recover, the challenge of successful recovery only compounds.

My mom always told me, "When in doubt, don't." If your ability to plan, design, test and execute a BC/DR plan is in doubt, it's time to get some help.

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