Our first and second blogs in this 5-part series discussed how TCO (True Cost of Ownership) should affect your evaluation of data protection vendors, and how a fresh take on reliability reveals what’s now required of Business Recovery (BR) vendors to truly shine in the areas of product performance, updates, and stability; support quality; and financial standing.

The third criterion for selecting a BR solution? Investment protection: How to lock down the value of your crucial dollars spent.

  1. TCO – True Cost of Ownership
  2. Reliability
  3. Investment Protection
  4. Vendor Ecosystem
  5. Security & Compliance

In general, it goes without saying that the right business recovery partner has to protect your investment through minimization of downtime and data loss — but we’ll say it regardless. Today, the mean cost of downtime is $163,374 per hour for the average enterprise, according to Aberdeen. Add to that soft costs of lost business as a result of dissatisfied customers and atrophied brand equity, and you know how critical the speed and reliability of your recovery solution is to your bottom line.

So: In assessing specifics of investment protection in terms of BR, ask yourself the following 5 questions about each consultant you’re considering:

Will your IT environment shift within the next 3 to 5 years?

If you’re considering a move to a VM environment, or an expansion on your current environment, you’ll need a BR vendor that can evolve with you. This means being able to quickly and easily add new devices to your protection regiment, supporting server migrations (P2V, V2V), and providing deployment options that can accommodate the needs of different remote offices, field employees, and your data center.

Is your company growing? What’s the rate of data growth?

As your firm gains in size, you’ll incur data transfer and storage increases, which could affect retention policies, recovery point objectives, and recovery speeds if your chosen BR vendor is not able to scale. Corporate data is projected to increase by 2,000 percent between 2015 and 2020, again according to Aberdeen. Your ideal BR vendor needs to be able to protect your entire environment from edge — including remote sites, desktops, workstations, and laptops — to core. Vendors that can offer state-of-the art data center facilities with enterprise-class physical and virtual appliances, deliver optimum uptime.

Can a new user quickly learn the solution? Will a non-technical user be able to recover files or handle a failover in case IT is unavailable?

An intuitive, easy-to-use dashboard should be status quo within the category. Regrettably, it’s not. But hybrid and cloud-based vendors lead the pack in user experience. Data protection can be configured with minimal training. And simple, remote handling of a recovery operation is always present in the event of a catastrophic event. In other words, if a hurricane hits your corporate office, someone at a branch should be able to handle a restore through her tablet with the tap of a button. Otherwise, you’ll need to shoulder additional, fairly hefty costs involved in training your people on the solution; or rely on the vendor’s support or professional services staff to assist.

Do you prefer a vendor that can bring you an end-to-end solution?

If you’re truly okay with having to keep track of numerous support numbers, invoices, integrations, and upgrade plans — disparate vendors may be fine for you. But why? You can truly have it all with a cloud recovery and continuity platform. Annual product updates happen automatically, or with one click.
Does the vendor own the underlying technology that comprises its solution, or does it assemble different products under the hood? A BR solution that doesn’t own its technology will likely have big problems reacting quickly to your requests. Which, in turn, can create expansive downtime-related expenses for you. Simply, a vendor that owns its own end-to-end BR technology is faster on the draw. Examples: A seamlessly integrated cloud recovery and continuity platform significantly reduces network disruption time. Product viability is strengthened by the vendor’s strategic enhancements and support throughout the product’s lifecycle. Control of the roadmap enhances customer responsiveness and shorter dev cycles. Dedicated R&D creates more innovative technological advancements for the solution, more quickly.

Net/net: It’s part of your job to watch where every non-production dollar goes, and how it’s being utilized once it gets there. In our next blog, we’ll discuss Criterion #4 in selecting a BR vendor – The Importance of Your Vendor Ecosystem. Stay tuned. Meanwhile step back a moment and consider crafting a holistic business recovery plan for your firm. Get our essential Business Recovery eGuide here.

Daniel Kuperman