It’s About Business Continuity, Not Just Backup
One of the highest-value services MSPs offer customers is protecting their data with automated backup and recovery. However, often neglected in the conversation with customers is the need for business continuity planning.
When you get right down to it, the ultimate goal of any BDR strategy should always be to keep the business running, no matter how serious a calamity it suffers. To achieve that level of readiness, BDR technology is essential, but there is more to business continuity planning than backing up data.
MSPs, therefore, should not only provide BDR technology, but also take on the role of business continuity consultant. In this way, you add value for the client by addressing a critical need while creating consulting revenue opportunities. Of course, helping clients stay in business through a catastrophe also helps protect your future income.
An effective business continuity strategy must be based on three pillars – technology, IT readiness, and overall business preparedness.
Let’s deal with the technology part first. With the advent of the cloud, it’s never been easier to set up automated data backup. With a cloud-based backup solution, you can schedule backup frequency, replicate data off-site, and ensure all relevant systems and files are kept up to date.
Unlike the old tape backup systems, which were notorious for problems such as misplaced tapes and failed backups, cloud-based BDR has built-in monitoring to ensure everything is working as it should and alert you if there’s an issue.
IT Recovery Plan
With the backup technology in place, your clients can rest a little easier, but it’s not exactly a “set it and forget it” proposition. If a business experiences downtime for technical reasons or is shuttered by a natural disaster, it needs a plan to get systems up and running again.
The plan should document each step to restart all systems, restore lost data from backups, and prioritize which systems to start first. All instructions in the plan must be as clear and thorough as possible in case the current IT staff, which presumably would be involved in the planning, is no longer around.
In humans, resilience may be a character trait, but when it comes to businesses, it takes meticulous planning. A business continuity plan for the entire company addresses how it will continue functioning in the aftermath of disaster.
This goes beyond IT planning to cover all department-by-department business processes, staffing, hours of operation, and the prospect of running business units from remote sites or even employees’ homes. Every single aspect of the business, down to what each individual is expected to do what, needs to be covered in a business continuity plan. Technology and IT procedures exist in this context to support the company’s ability to go on.
The Big Picture
In selling BDR services, keep the big picture in mind. Getting your customers to agree to back up their data and have it accessible for recovery is just the start. You need to take the conversation to the next level and ask the customer, “If disaster strikes, can the business survive?”
This blog post was provided by StorageCraft.