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Managed IT services for disaster recovery and business continuity

Finding the best business continuity services and disaster recovery plans can be a challenge. Learn more about managed IT services options and how they can work for you.

Midmarket CIOs are signing on to managed IT services for disaster recovery (DR) planning and business continuity (BC) services. With the right DR/BC plan in place, employees can begin working as soon as possible in the event of a disaster. But finding the appropriate strategy, and focusing the business around it, can be a challenge.

From weighing the risks and benefits of using managed IT services for disaster recovery and business continuity plans to understanding available options and contract terms, get the low-down on DR/BC services.

For free advice and resources on more IT and business topics, visit our list of Midmarket CIO Briefings.

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  Considerations for using managed IT services for DR planning and BC
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Choosing between creating a DR site in-house or outsourcing disaster recovery is a fundamental part of creating a DR strategy. The in-house approach may be tempting, with the assumption that the work related to DR can be performed by existing staff. Unfortunately, experience shows that in-house disaster recovery is more likely to fail than outsourced DR services.

According to an IDC study, enterprises that didn't outsource lost on average $4 million per disaster incident across a variety of business functions (e.g., sales/marketing, financing, e-commerce). In contrast, enterprises that outsourced to a third party lost an average of $1.1 million per incident. The study adds that companies that leverage in-house DR sites spend 32% more than those opting to outsource.

Learn more about using managed services in "Outsourcing disaster recovery services vs. in-house disaster recovery." Also:

  Understanding the risks of managed IT services options for DR/BC
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Online data backup and cloud services are emerging in the small- to midsized business (SMB) data storage market. Online data backup allows users to send their data to be backed up to a remote site without the associated cost of setting up and managing a remote data center, and can be very beneficial to SMBs, especially if they have small staffs. However, there are also many risks involved in using cloud services.

Learn more about those risks in "The benefits and risks of online data backup and cloud services for SMBs." Also:

  Getting started with DR planning and BC services
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If you run IT for a smaller midsized company, what kinds of affordable disaster recovery services are out there for you? We asked several leading DR providers about their managed disaster recovery and business continuity services for companies with up to about 200 employees. All of them offer disaster recovery services tailored to this segment.

With prices starting at $100 a month, we found several options for organizations with a monthly budget in the hundreds of dollars, as well as a few priced in the low $1,000s. The difference? How fast you get access to your data after an outage, what you personally have to do to make that happen, and what else comes as part of the service, such as temporary access to applications hosted by the provider.

Read the full overview of options from two DR providers, IBM and SunGard Availability Services LP, in "Disaster recovery services options for smaller businesses on a budget. Also:

  Tools for analyzing how DR and BC will affect the business
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Business impact analysis (BIA) is a key part of the business continuity process that analyzes mission-critical business functions, and identifies and quantifies the impact a loss of those functions (e.g., operational, financial) may have on the organization. SearchDisasterRecovery.com has created a free downloadable business impact analysis template.

Access the BIA template and read the full guide in Using a business impact analysis (BIA) template: A free BIA template and guide." Also:

  • Conducting a risk assessment for SMBs
    When developing a DR plan, conducting a BIA helps to determine the potential impact of a disaster on the business. In this tip, Pierre Dorion discusses the risk assessment process.
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This was last published in August 2009

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