Early in the pandemic, as businesses figured out how to stay “online” and maintain service levels, business continuity quickly became the only objective that mattered. Despite limited options, the innovation that rushed to fill the gaps in the weeks that followed was nothing short of amazing. As the dust from the initial pandemic response settles, these experiences have permanently reshaped our expectations around business continuity.
So, what will best-in-class business continuity look like in the post-pandemic digital age? First of all, it starts with a reevaluation of business continuity best practices, particularly when it comes to disaster recovery. While recovery time objective (RTO), recovery point objective (RPO) and budget have always been primary factors during the procurement process, budget concerns used to limit what a business could afford. Even a few years ago, prioritizing all three of these at once would have been impossible. Now, thanks to new cloud-based approaches, significant reductions in cost have made a best-in-class strategy more attainable than ever.

DRaaS enables businesses to meet higher standards—at lower costs

Just like most aspects of the modern digital business, cloud-based technologies hold the key to dramatic improvements in DR performance. Here are three ways businesses can benefit by migrating their DR program to an innovative disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solution:
1. Flexibility: Customize your solution to meet your business continuity goals. When you take a look at the performance vs. cost tug-of-war we mentioned earlier, cost has historically won out. Why? Because the budget required to achieve best-in-class RTO and RPO was simply too high.
With DRaaS, greater cloud-based computing power and advancements in storage management allow businesses to design their DR strategy with a focus on performance. They can access virtual servers to expand their recovery options, leverage asynchronous replication features to shorten RTO, or even create software-defined networks (SDNs) that protect and support decentralized systems. Moreover, the ability to pick and choose the right mix of capabilities can help keep your DR strategy on target and on budget.

2. Speed: Empower critical business agility. If there is one overarching lesson businesses learned from the pandemic, it is that business needs can change quickly. In 2020, the business continuity demands in February looked a lot different than they did just three months later in May. And those expectations are sure to continue evolving in 2021 and beyond.
In this never-ending race to become more agile, the SaaS delivery model makes the hot-site approach to DR more practical and cost effective than ever before. Business can now achieve the highest levels of agility and speed in business continuity planning, while dramatically slashing the cost of spinning up a hot-site environment. DRaaS also significantly reduces the timeline for deployment—allowing businesses to move quickly and cost-effectively as technologies change.

3. Service: Leverage a SaaS partnership to boost DR performance while reducing your internal burden.When it comes to identifying and deploying SaaS strategies that move the needle, cloud-based software is only half of the equation. The other half is the customer service, insights and expertise your SaaS partner delivers along the way. True DRaaS partners provide a consultative experience that enhances your DR program and reduces the management burden. As your environment inevitably evolves, your DRaaS partner can help keep you on track—driving ongoing optimization that prepares you for what’s next.
For more information, please visit Ricoh’s Cloud Solutions & Services page.