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Making Plans for Something You Hope Never Happens: What’s your Continuity Plan?

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When you consider the criticality of SaaS applications, it’s astonishing how many companies are unprepared if their applications were suddenly unavailable.

I have very few memories of my life as a school-aged child, but there are some life lessons that I’ve never forgotten, even in my “old age.” One primary lesson that I can remember from my childhood is the emergency procedure in the event of a fire. As children, we would practice fire drills at school in case there was a reason for us to evacuate. Although this training has never been required over the course of my life, it still feels good having a plan for a situation I hope would never happen.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” — Ben Franklin

It’s obvious that SaaS is the future of doing business. According to an article by BetterCloud The 2017 State of the SaaS-Powered Workplace Report, 73% of organizations say nearly all (80%+) of their applications will be SaaS by 2020. When you consider how critical SaaS applications are becoming, it’s absolutely astonishing how many companies are unprepared if their applications were suddenly unavailable. You would think that for something so critical, organizations would have a foolproof plan for preventing disruption to their business. Unfortunately, the majority of companies don’t have a plan at all.

Question: What if I could predict the future, and I told you exactly how and when you would lose access to your business-critical applications? Don’t worry, in this hypothetical situation, I can also assist you by minimizing the impact on your company. What would your company need in order to avoid disruption?

  • Access to your data, no matter what?
  • Access to a pre-configured location that provides uninterrupted protection regardless of what happens to your SaaS provider?
  • Reassurance that you had a continuity plan designed specifically for your business needs?
  • How about the confidence in knowing that you have a recovery environment with your application and data replicated automatically and ready for use?

Did you know: Iron Mountain can provide all of the above?

When it comes to risk mitigation, the approach you take will always determine your outcome. Some will choose blind faith and leave their company’s destiny in the hands of an unproven SaaS Provider based on a false sense of security. Others will mitigate their risk by implementing a solution designed for application continuity just in case the “something they hope never happens” actually comes to fruition. Iron Mountain is designed to support the proactive SaaS user with a continuity plan that includes continuous and automated online services dedicated to:

  1. Data Backup — from your SaaS provider to Iron Mountain, a virtual copy of the application and data are stored daily.
  2. Application Continuity — virtual replication of the provider’s SaaS application and environment to Iron Mountain, where a restore-ready environment is always available to provide access to the application and data.
  3. High Availability — real-time virtual replication and one-to-one mirroring of the provider SaaS application and environment is available 24/7 — which means no downtime for you. Your SaaS provider can use advanced cloud-based disaster recovery services that enable a seamless failover to Iron Mountain should an unplanned outage occur, and failback to their primary environment once it’s available again.

If you had any of these three services as a contingency plan, the benefits are almost obvious:

  • Access to information independently of the SaaS Provider
  • Ability to maintain business no matter what the future holds
  • Confidence that your data is protected
  • A safeguarded SaaS investment

In a nutshell: Although we all know SaaS has a multitude of benefits, the lack of planning for potential risks reminds me of a modern-day Titanic. The SaaS Provider has created the illusion that the idea of anything happening to their impenetrable applications and hosting environments is just foolish. Ideally, they want their users to admire the beauty of the technological capabilities these applications will offer to the enterprise. Unfortunately, the metaphorical iceberg waiting for the subscriber is out there and it would be silly to think “it could never happen to you.” In reality, we all know that history has a weird way of repeating itself, and we should always expect the unexpected.

Food for thought: The key to life is to “Get wise before you get old” — Isha Sadhguru

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