Disaster Recovery During the Digital Transformation Age

February 15, 2022

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By Jason Juliano

Today, digital transformation and innovation programs are focal points in every industry. The recent pandemic has taught businesses that digital transformation makes them more agile in responding to uncertainty. Executives are thinking about their business goals in the intersection of digital transformation and disaster recovery services. Both rely on each other to leverage emerging technologies in cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, internet of things (IoT), and blockchain solutions. Even businesses in traditionally technology-averse industries are migrating to the cloud. For nearly every firm, digital transformation is essential to remaining competitive and resilient.

When the network goes down, the business goes down with it in the digital age. The average cost of network outages for enterprises, according to Gartner, is $5,600 per minute. These costs vary widely from one business to the next; however, numerous algorithms calculate your specific network downtime cost. These costs are aggravated by the requirement to ensure that ones' disaster recovery solution upgrades are in lockstep with your production environment. Each upgrade's cost is effectively doubled as a result of this requirement.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

Disaster recovery is a significant driver of digital transformation and innovation. Even if enterprise-level disaster recovery may be more cost-effective, small and mid-sized businesses are routinely left behind. However, several firms and providers are now offering cloud-based solutions such as Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to solve these challenges. So, what exactly is DRaaS? DRaaS is a disaster recovery service that a third party provides. It entails the provider automating the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers to provide business continuity in a natural disaster, power outage, or another type of disaster. When considering digital or cloud transformation, we must acknowledge the ongoing pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the corporate environment. With the expansion of work-from-home (WFH), remote, and hybrid workplaces, there is a greater demand for applications moving to the cloud and current communication technologies that allow teams to collaborate anywhere. Getting applications ready for use in anywhere and anytime environments must be a top priority.

Adding Intelligent Automation to Disaster Recovery

One of the most important lessons learned during the pandemic was the necessity to be adaptable, proactive, and quick to respond. Investing in intelligent automation technologies might also be beneficial. This is especially true now that many people are working from home. So what exactly is intelligent automation technology? This is when robotic process automation (RPA) is combined with advanced emerging technologies like analytics, artificial intelligence, optical character recognition (OCR), and process mining to construct end-to-end business processes that think, learn, and adapt on their own. Internal processes or requests that were previously handled in person must now be rethought with an augmented workflow. Many processes with a high volume of requests should be automated. Complete workflows should be sketched out and automated to increase efficiency and processing speed, which will enable firms to achieve improved consistency.

Testing Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity with Intelligent Automation

When it comes to automating processes and testing disaster recovery, planning needs to be rethought. For small and medium businesses, disaster recovery plans have traditionally been outdated, gathering dust on someone's desk. These ideas are currently being put into action, and many lessons have been gained from this experience. The most difficult aspect of disaster recovery has been keeping IT teams up to date with new infrastructure and applications while also ensuring that assets are well tested in a highly available environment. The architecture of business technology and the data it contains has become increasingly complicated as firms have adopted more technology at a faster rate.

The current circumstances have demonstrated that performance in general, regardless of whatever application is utilized, should be scrutinized with greater care as businesses and IT teams consider disaster recovery and continuity. As more applications migrate to the cloud, greater emphasis should be placed on optimizing those applications for high availability and productive user experiences. Investing in DRaaS may be a viable option for some businesses. This necessitates establishing a more continuous disaster recovery workstream within their companies and a set of critical solutions to guide these efforts before, during, and after an incident. It should be appropriately laid out and automated to promote efficiency and maintain continuity. Automation was an asset in assigning the correct duties to the correct personnel, and the other processes were effectively handled in the early phases of the pandemic when we were thinking about essential applications and how to maintain their uptime and availability.

Takeaways from DR Within a Digital Transformation Strategy

As every business is different, firms must have their own disaster recovery approach when conducting business continuity planning. The critical challenge for the company will be balancing the tools and methods available. Therefore, here are some considerations and takeaways for DR within the digital transformation strategy:

  1. Move to a DRaaS model with your managed Service provider (MSP) or third-party vendor. DRaaS gets you improved, quick, and verifiable recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) -- in minutes, seconds, or even near-zero seconds.
  2. Invest in multiple and customer delivery models to provide disaster recovery services for most computing platforms, including private, public, and hybrid cloud.
  3. Use intelligent automation services and solutions that lower disaster recovery costs by reducing the number of IT workers required for cloud disaster recovery and the requirement for an in-house disaster recovery environment.

We all are aware that disaster strikes without warning, and we don't have time to prepare; therefore, it's always preferable to plan beforehand. Knowing which disaster recovery options are best will save you time and money. It will, in the end, save your company. Consider the costs of downtime in addition to the cost reductions that come with using DRaaS instead of owning your DR system. Using advanced emerging technologies to automate processes and create new predictive analytics methods for process mining can be a boon to nearly every enterprise. Businesses may want to consider investing in DRaaS and intelligent automation for their digital transformation strategy.


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About Jason Juliano

Jason Juliano is a Director within EisnerAmper Digital with over 25 years expertise as a technology and risk management executive in information technology.