Posted by Tom Burt on Tue, Feb 19, 2019 @ 4:37pm

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity (or DRBC) is a key component of the operational infrastructure of any business. Yet many companies don’t think about it until an unexpected calamity arises. Choosing between an in-house DRBC team and hiring a third party DRBC firm can be a difficult decision. Here, you’ll get to know why using an external DRBC company is the preferred option for most organizations.

Some of the points in favor of hiring a disaster recovery firm include: 24/7 on-site expertise, heightened service quality, minimal or zero startup costs, increased flexibility, and reduced costs of technological resources and staffing.

Before we discuss the full benefits of third-party DRBC consultations, let’s first elaborate on the meaning of a DRBC plan.

The Definition of a DRBC plan

Most people confuse Business Continuity with Disaster Recovery. If you are a company leader you must be able to differentiate between the two, so you can make informed decisions if a calamity occurs. Basically, the two concepts are preventative measures regarding how workers should communicate and work during an emergency or disruption to minimize downtime. The two concepts are different but closely related.

  • Disaster Recovery Plan: It focuses on the ability of an organization to recover critical information in case of a catastrophe. With an effective DR plan, your company should be able to restore vital data offsite. DR is therefore data-oriented and systems-centric.
  • Business Continuity Plan: This is more business-centric as compared to DR. It is all about the restoration of the systems and technology needed in disaster recovery. The ability of your company to continue with normal operations depends on the successful recovery of critical business information. At the heart of BC is a plan that ensures normal functions have resumed in the wake of a disruption. It covers everything from HR to business processes that facilitate the perpetuation of the entire organization.

Both DR and BC may involve the same procedures as security, temporary locations, and communications, but each one covers distinctive features.

Why Hire a Third Party DRBC Firm?

It’s undeniable that a DR/BC plan minimizes the effects of unexpected disruptions. But there is no silver bullet for achieving an effective DRBC strategy.  Your company’s recovery objectives should determine how technologies, personnel, and resources will be allocated to match your DRBC needs. If you choose to outsource functions to a specialist company, you have the following benefits:

1. Experienced Recovery Service

An experienced DRBC company expedites the recovery process so that your business escapes significant downtime. Your organization may have an exclusive recovery plan in place but if your employees don’t have the knowledge and experience to implement it, it is useless. With an outsourced DR plan, it becomes easier to coordinate a thorough and comprehensive disaster response. You will also avoid other complications that normally arise from inexperienced personnel within your entity.

Depending on your industry, an operational disruption can cost your business millions of dollars per day. You might think that an in-house DRBC option will save you money. The truth is, specialized expertise achieves a speedier recovery; therefore, it is more effective and economical.

2. Accessing the Much-Needed Tools

A third-party service provider can identify the tools, services, and products that best suit your business. Your IT department may not understand the most advanced file recovery solutions or whether they need local or cloud-based backup platforms. But a reputable DR firm understands this, and will also advise you on which products to invest in and how to deploy or implement them.

3. Preventing Significant Business Disruption

A business meltdown can be incredibly damaging to your enterprise. Any business that undergoes significant mishap is unlikely to survive the next few years. Your company will be losing revenue and damaging your reputation every time a business disruption occurs. In addition, customers will lose faith in your brand - something that can be difficult to recover from!  Thus, it becomes paramount to avoid any upheaval.

Managed DRBC services make the entire recovery process less damaging, easier, and speedier. Ultimately, you incur fewer costs than you would if you tried the process in-house. Keep in mind that any business disruption can be a big deal. Anything that disrupts the smooth operation of a company can potentially bring everlasting problems.

4. Guaranteed Access to Contracted Services

Some businesses opt for in-house DR plan to escape third-party facilities that have been oversubscribed. Normally, such services fail to meet some client needs. However, there are DRBC firms whose facilities aren’t oversaturated with subscriptions. You can still get a comprehensive plan to cover 100% of your IT needs concurrently. The service provider ensures that you can always reach their recovery center.

This approach is crucial in today’s technological systems when dealing with business-critical information, where recovery time objectives are measured in hours. You might not achieve a successful recovery if you use a different service. On the other hand, if you decide to outsource DRBC services, you will have access to contracted services from facilities which are similar to those of your MSP. Remember that these third-party services have established connections and dedicated resources across the industry.

5. Superior Performance

Experience and specialization breed optimal functionality of any system. Disaster recovery and business continuity plans require specialized skills which must be proven by repetitive tests. Your IT crew may not have the ability to perform a large-scale site recovery. But a reputable DRBC company brings the technical know-how to your enterprise that is needed to boost customer service.

If your employees stay current in the latest technology, it means that they can meet different client needs in multiple industries. This adds depth to the individual customer DRBC program.

Unlike the typical IT staff, outsourced DRBC programs primarily focus on recovering from a disaster. This is not their auxiliary role - their entire business is to deliver recovery services at their best!  In addition, they provide remote hosting and backup.

6. Accommodating Changes

As your company grows and changes, you will need to re-engineer your DR/BC processes. You need help with various technologies and operating environments for critical areas such as testing the priorities of different applications and defining interdependencies. If you are dealing with IT system changes, you would be better served by a third-party DRBC firm that offers flexibility in the terms and conditions of their service. Inflexible terms are no longer acceptable in the current business environment. You need a service provider that allows you to change the combination of services as well as raise or lower your monthly expenditure.

Summing up the Benefits of Third-Party DRBC Services

Most company CIOs don’t consider hiring third-party DRBC services until it’s too late.  A business continuity plan highlights the precautions that need to be taken in the event of a disaster to minimize the negative effects. It also focuses on disaster prevention, particularly in mission-critical functions. An in-house disaster recovery strategy is usually not sufficient. You should consider outsourcing your DRBC function to a renowned IT Support company to protect your business information and improve internal efficiencies. 

Experience indicates that in-house DR has a higher probability of failure than utilizing an outside DR plan. Many organizations have benefited from third-party DRBC vendors. Without a question, the functions of business continuity are most efficiently handled by outside consultants. This is particularly true when your organization cannot implement a DR plan on its own.

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