The need for business resiliency is a critical success factor for most organisations in the current environment of economic uncertainty.
Business resiliency can simply be defined as the ability of an organisation to adapt and respond to risks and opportunities and maintain continuity in its operations. Today, our environment, markets and economies have been subject to changing conditions and risks that make it that much more important for organisations to have a plan in place.
In Bermuda, companies are not immune from the risk of data loss due to a natural disaster, malicious activity or equipment failure. Most organisations do not realise the value of their data until after it is lost. According to research by the University of Texas, only six percent of companies that suffer a catastrophic data loss survive, while 43 percent never reopen and 51 percent close within two years (see ‘Offsite backup is a minimum requirement. Proper DR planning requires much more’ at www.asigra.com/blog).
The positive side to the growth in risk that organisations have experienced is that the need for a business resiliency and continuity plan is gaining significance as a critical success factor. In its annual business resiliency survey, iJet (a leader in enterprise risk management) found that business continuity planning is taking root in many organisations. Furthermore, the survey for 2009 also showed that companies are continuing to invest in business continuity planning: 73 percent of survey participants stated that their organisation will maintain the same level of investment or increase its investment in continuity planning despite the economic downturn and budget constraints.
Given these trends, companies in Bermuda need to invest in business continuity planning, testing and implementation. In this regard, continuity planning has evolved from writing data to backup tapes and storing these tapes in cabinets within an IT equipment room, to sending data tapes to an off-site location. Although offsite data tape storage is a step in the right direction, tapes represent a significant cost (in terms of transport, storage and time spent managing them), are a security risk (tapes can get lost) and fail to address the many challenges facing IT departments.
Today, the trend within the backup and storage market—to support business continuity plans—is the emergence and growth in the online managed data backup services offered through managed service providers (MSP). MSPs have started to offer data protection and backup to private, public or hybrid clouds that have addressed the many painful challenges faced with traditional backup technologies. The service allows organisations to control their IT costs through tiered storage plans, data reduction technologies that include compression and de-duplication (incremental backups), and that support security through encryption of data in flight and at rest. What is interesting in Bermuda within the data protection and business continuity market are the recent announcements made by TeleBermuda International Limited (TBI) with regards to its partners in business continuity, the launch of managed data storage and remote IT monitoring services.
Another common misconception is that only large multinational companies can afford to invest in equipment and business continuity services.The risk of data loss or a disaster impacting a business is not proportionate to its size or affordability. A survey undertaken by Agility Recovery Solutions and Hughes Marketing Group has shown that 90 percent of smaller companies in North America spend less than a day over the course of a month in planning and managing their business continuity plans, compared with 20 percent of larger companies that spend 10 or more days on their business continuity plans.
Accordingly, it is imperative that the small to medium-sized business (SMB) sector in Bermuda makes business continuity planning a key success criteria. In this regard, the SMB sector should take advantage of the affordable business continuity products and services offered through MSPs that provide a comprehensive end-to-end solution to meet the many stringent regulatory requirements for data security and protection to which large companies must adhere.
TBI recently announced the launch of Securus, a managed storage and backup service powered by Asigra’s Cloud Backup and Recoverysoftware and HP infrastructure. The service is a fully managed backup and recovery service that uses advanced technology to replace unreliable traditional backup technologies, such as tapes and optical discs. Securus will enable Bermuda-based SMBs to back up their data to an off-site location for ‘disaster recovery’ (TBI provides an on-Island and off-Island solution that includes data vaults in both Bermuda and the Cayman Islands), as well as meet the security requirements for larger companies with data encrypted in flight and at rest using AES 256 encryption.
"The positive side the growth in risk that organisations have experienced is that the need for a business resiliency and continuity plan is gaining significance as a critical success factor."
Further proof that Securus takes security seriously is that the Asigra platform is the only cloud backup solution that is FIPS 1402-certified. The benefit of using an MSP such as TBI is that companies receive a cost-effective (customers are billed only for the size of their compressed data at TBI’s vault) and highly reliable alternative for protecting data. By utilising Asigra’s Cloud Backup and Recovery Software, customers are able to reduce backup time with Asigra’s de-duplication technology, support all computing systems including VMware ESX, meet recovery time and recovery point objectives, and allow customers to manage their own backup schedules and restore processes. This service from TBI, along with its world-class data centre in Bermuda, which supports hosting of high-density servers, provides companies on-Island with a single solution for developing a comprehensive business continuity plan.
In today’s environment of economic uncertainty, companies need to establish a strategic relationship with a trusted partner to protect their data and develop business continuity plans.The service should support a customer’s growth; it should meet the challenges of protecting data across multiple locations and remote workstations; and it should support increasingly complex IT environments that include virtualisation as well as increasing regulatory and legal compliance. Securus from TBI with remote IT services, and its business continuity and hosting services, are options that companies in Bermuda should consider as part of their fully integrated business continuity plans.
TeleBermuda International Limited’s website is: www.telebermuda.com