Prior to 2020, IT professionals’ plates were full. In addition to maintaining daily activities, businesses implemented resiliency plans to prepare for natural disasters and potential cyberattacks. Few envisioned a global pandemic would wreak havoc on the economy and transform operations. Almost overnight, companies scrambled to support remote workforces and stay afloat.

The World Economic Forum reports that the global economic slowdown is forecasted to cost the global economy at least $1 trillion in 2020—and that’s aside from the tragic human consequences of the pandemic.  

What can we learn from the events of 2020?

Think About the Future in a Different Way

IT leaders who believe we will return to business as usual are at a huge disadvantage. COVID-19 will have permanent consequences on the future of the industry. Many executives speculate about the future, but effectively creating change can be elusive. A combination of factors play into this problem including lack of imagination or not knowing where to begin amid a litany of commanding issues. The ability to think, plan and execute is the key to realizing transformation.

Identify the Right Platforms and Technology

A successful company imagines its business to be a sustainable platform. Many companies failed this year because resilient technology wasn’t in place. In retail, traditional brick and mortar operations failed when strong eCommerce options weren’t available. Other companies couldn’t function with a remote workforce or didn’t have the tools available to enable remote activities. COVID-19 was unprecedented and unexpected. The next time there is a global emergency, businesses must be better prepared. Those who aren’t will suffer.

Backing Up Data Isn’t Enough

Backups are crucial to protecting data, maintaining archives and assuring compliance. Their limitation is that they cannot be used to meet aggressive Recovery Point Objectives (RPO). For example, if a business is only backing up every night and something occurs an hour before the scheduled backup, an entire day of work is lost. In addition, backups typically cannot be used to meet aggressive Recovery Time Objectives (RTO).

Go to the Cloud

A cloud based DRaaS solution can address these limitations because it is a flexible, cost-effective way to deliver essential RPO and RTO performance without the CAPEX costs and struggles of managing a physical DR site. Cloud-based DRaaS delivers an isolated, production-ready copy of your entire infrastructure available in the event of unplanned downtime or data loss.

Regulations such as GDPR and CCPA are becoming more stringent. DRaaS helps businesses prove that all necessary steps have been taken to protect customer data in accordance with regulatory requirements. It gives IT leaders the confidence that, should the worst-case scenario occur, critical data is protected and available.

With DRaaS, teams can run recovery tests in replica environments to assure continuous preparedness. This provides greater security and risk mitigation than a more traditional annual test of onsite systems. DRaaS helps businesses develop a full disaster recovery plan that minimizes potential downtime.

Every organization must adapt and prepare for scenarios for worlds we don’t live in yet. It’s important to reflect on lessons learned in 2020 so we can emerge from this pandemic stronger than before.

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