Benefits of cloud-based secure file sharing for disaster recovery

Aug 26, 2015

2015-08-17 Cloud and Disaster Recovery.jpgWhile a secure file sharing platform hosted in the cloud can provide a business with many key flexibility- and scalability-based benefits, another key reason organizations should consider such a tool is because it can be extremely useful for disaster recovery purposes.

Whether because of human error, a natural disaster or any other reason, downtime happens and outages occur. According to The Hartford Financial Services Group, 36 percent of the more than 500 mid-level businesses surveyed said a system interruption has prevented them from fully meeting a client need, showing just how prevalent downtime really is at firms of all sizes.

These incidents can be very costly for all sorts of organizations. An hour of downtime typically sets a business back around $300,000 an hour, but costs can easily be as high $540,000 or more, according to Gartner analyst Andrew Lerner. Plus, a March 2014 survey from Semafone found that manycustomers are likely to shun a company that is seen as not doing enough to safeguard data and guarantee availability.

“The most important aspect of nearly every network is availability,” Lerner wrote. “Performance, scalability, management, agility, etc. all require the network to actually be online.”

How to combat disaster recovery costs with the cloud
With the frequency of disaster recovery events so high and the costs related to downtime rising to new heights, it may seem as though most organizations have no business continuity plan in place. That is actually not true, although many companies may not be doing enough to guarantee the effectiveness of their plans.

The Hartford survey found that while the vast majority of respondents have a business continuity plan in place - 59 percent have a formal plan that is written out, and 33 percent have just a verbal strategy – far too few are taking steps to guarantee the plan’s efficacy. Of those with formal plans, less than 33 percent have taken the time to test their plan.

Having a good disaster recovery plan and testing it out regularly is definitely a good first step. But, in order for a business continuity strategy to be really effective, it must be backed by the right technology. This is where the cloud comes into play.

With a cloud-based secure file sharing solution, for example, businesses can be sure that their employees always have access to mission-critical files and data no matter what. For example, even if a power outage or a natural disaster knocks out physical operations at company headquarters, the cloud ensures that everything can still run smoothly since data is hosted redundantly off site. When the cloud platform chosen is also intuitive and simple to use too, organizations can be sure that their workers easily understand how to how to best leverage the solution in all situations.

Thankfully, the cloud is gaining in popularity too. The National Small Business Association found that between 2010 and 2013, the number of smaller firms in the U.S. using the cloud jumped from 5 percent to 43 percent. As more companies turn to the cloud for secure file sharing, the number of businesses that are caught unprepared in a disaster scenario will go down. For business continuity, the best choice is almost always cloud computing.