Disaster Recovery Planning

Automate DR Planning to Strengthen Data and Business Integrity

By February 27, 2020 No Comments

Successful MSPs typically don’t perform every operation in their businesses. In fact, the larger the provider, the more likely it is that the MSP will have a multitude of people and technologies running various processes in, across, and outside their organization. To effectively scale your business operations, it is paramount that your company deploys the right tools, develops comprehensive processes, and employs highly capable people.

Automation is one of the most valued options. These business applications can outwork even the most dedicated employees and provide your firm with capabilities such as 24/7 monitoring, programmed backups, and a host of other computer-driven processes. Removing humans from the most mundane business activities helps reduce errors and streamlines your operations.

While MSPs are quite proficient at injecting automation into their clients’ operations, many lack the time, resources, and/or motivation to address all the application opportunities within their own businesses.

DR planning is a perfect example. While this process is one of the most critical responsibilities for MSPs, the most important piece is ensuring that your clients’ data is restorable should an outage or disaster occur. Checking off a box that says a backup job is scheduled is not enough, nor is manually reading 10s or 100s of related email reports every morning to identify failed backups.

Client networks can be complex and change frequently and are susceptible to business outages based on internal and external pressures. So when developing a DR process, from mapping and prioritizing information to the step by step methods for bringing systems back online, every business continuity strategy must be well designed, documented, and thoroughly tested. Failure is not an option  ̶  which is just one reason why MSPs are increasingly adding automation to the DR equation.

Tools Can Simplify and Automate

Simplicity is a primary goal for business owners. Documenting and streamlining processes helps to eliminate the confusion and the possible things that will inevitably fail at the most inopportune times ̶ like after a flood, fire, hurricane, or another catastrophic event.

Automation can further “people-proof” those best practices by building repeatable processes with measurable effectiveness at each step, algorithm, and system. You can apply this principle to many parts of your MSP operations.

Most providers use some form of remote monitoring and management tools that elicit some level of automated response, from creating service tickets and alerting techs of potential issues to handling basic remediation tasks. Similar “hands-free” solutions may help your team manage various aspects of its cybersecurity, cloud, billing, and collections operations.

 

A New Way to Simplify a Key MSP Responsibility/Opportunity

One of the latest automation options takes the hassle out of one of the most time-consuming, intricate, and highly valued activities for MSPs: creating documentation for backup and DR plans and providing an associated testing framework to ensure that data is recoverable. Business continuity strategies are essential for every organization today, including your own.

According to Grand View Research, the global disaster recovery solutions market should top $26 Billion by 2025 with projected annual growth rates of between 20 and 40%. The risks to your clients’ businesses are real, and their leadership teams need to know the designs and systems you put in place will be effective. That type of assurance does not come from crossing your fingers and hoping everything works out if and when needed. Periodic testing is a mission-critical part of that equation.

Adept’s Managed Continuity solutions give MSPs those types of capabilities, including Quick Plans – a fast and simple tool that’s fully integrated into our DR platform. You can create a plan for each of your clients based on standardized templates that leverage industry best practices or develop your own design.  Additionally, the Quick Plans provide standardization and efficiency through automation, making it easier for you to deliver the designs and documentation in a timely fashion without consuming all your team’s bandwidth.

The testing process, essential for any plan, is just as fast and simple for IT services professionals. Adept’s DR Test Wizard walks MSPs through the entire process server by server, step by step, as it assesses and validates each procedure in a client’s recovery plan, and generates a testing certification letter upon completion.

 

Deliver Value, Don’t Sell Automation

After convincing your clients about the value of automation, you don’t need to sell them on your internal adoption measures. Instead, promote the value of the efficiencies automation creates along with strong internal processes, as well as your team’s ability to deliver a comprehensive Disaster Recovery as a Service program.

Remember to emphasize that the key is not being able to schedule backups, but ensuring the recovery of their critical files and applications in a known reasonable Return to Operations (RTO). Whether a problem is an email server glitch or a tornado that takes out the main data center, having planned and tested recovery operations will lead to less finger-pointing and unpleasant phone calls and increased satisfaction with your service.

Finally, automation in the DR process is essential if you plan to scale your MSP while promoting effective security and business continuity practices. Why waste time and money, not to mention brain cells, manually mapping, mail merging, and creating documents from scratch? Adept’s Managed Continuity solutions let you efficiently craft and deliver the DR plans your clients need and provides a repeatable testing framework to rely upon to ensure successful DR recovery.

Get peace of mind for your MSP as well as the people who run the businesses you support. Contact our partner team today to learn more about our automated DR planning and testing solutions.

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