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Outsourcing Backup and Disaster Recovery: A Planning guide

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outsource.pngMaking the decision to outsource your backup and disaster recovery processes requires careful consideration and an evaluation of a number of factors, including an assessment of existing needs, budget and potential vendors.

Typically, an IT backup and disaster recovery plan outlines the precautions taken to minimise the impact of a disaster on the continued performance of the organisation, particularly in relation to mission-critical functions. In order to ensure business continuity, organisations must look to establish measures for both disaster prevention and recovery processes. 

With organisational success at risk, the choice of whether to draft an in-house backup and disaster recovery strategy or enlist an outsourced partner becomes critical.


Why should you outsource?

Cost is most often a driving factor for many enterprise organisations facing this decision, and the benefits of each must be weighed against any potential drawbacks.

An outsourced partner is typically considered to be the more expensive route and when IT budgets are tight, keeping things in-house can grow in appeal. However, it is important to weigh up exactly how much each option will ultimately cost the business in the long run.

Left to the internal IT function to execute, an in-house strategy often puts additional pressures on the available resource, hindering any other business critical projects which must be delivered.

However, by choosing to enlist the support of a backup and disaster recovery service provider, organisations stand to increase productivity and ensure that this critical function is delivered to exacting standards by the experienced third party.

What’s more, it can typically be seen that organisations with an outsourced backup and disaster recovery strategy can achieve much quicker recovery times, better enabling the compliance with business continuity requirements.


Making the business case for outsourcing backup & disaster recovery

Backup and disaster recovery planning is an investment that shouldn’t be ignored, but making the business case for additional funding is not always simple.

In times when budgets can be tight, it is important that this critical function is not overlooked and so it is important to ensure that it is a business case and not a technology case which is being put forth.

Perform a business impact analysis to identify the core organisational systems, processes and functions, and the potential consequences of a complete or partial loss of each. This information will enable a greater understanding of which systems the organisation could stand to lose, and which would have the greatest financial implications.


With these insights, the process for backup and disaster recovery can be linked to the entire corporate strategy rather than just being viewed as simply an IT project; making it more likely that a business case will receive the necessary corporate backing.

Choosing an outsourced partner

Points to consider before approaching Backup and disaster recovery service providers.

  1. Establish which elements of your strategy you wish to outsource.
    This could range from risk assessment and strategy development right down to a fully managed service or staff training. 
  1. Consider what you hope to achieve by outsourcing; what are your objectives?
    This could be reducing the pressures on your own internal IT teams, saving money or creating a more efficient and secure strategy for protecting organisational data.
  1. Understand what sort of relationship you’d wish to have with your outsourced partner.
    This should include the level of support you would like to receive. 
  1. What services do you expect your vendor to provide?
    Decide if you are simply looking for an appliance to be installed or a fully managed service with all the trimmings. 
  1. How much do you plan to spend?
    Use your business impact analysis to set a realistic budget and take care to be aware of the potential for hidden costs. 
  1. Are there any potential risks for your organisation in choosing an outsourced agreement?
    This could mean considering any industry standard regulations or areas of compliance which must be adhered to, and how an outsourced partner can ensure they are met. 
  1. Review the market to determine which qualified vendors can provide the solution and services which are being sought.
    Outsourcing backup and disaster recovey has the potential to save an organisation money, whilst also increasing the productivity of the internal IT function by transferring this busines critical process to an experienced third party. 


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Topics: Outsourcing Backup and Disaster Recovery