Why a Preventative Mindset is Better than a Blanket Approach to Meet Today's Enterprise Demands

John O'Boyle, director of Product Marketing, Data Protection, Quest Software
John O'Boyle, director of Product Marketing, Data Protection, Quest Software

John O'Boyle, director of Product Marketing, Data Protection, Quest Software

User expectations with regards to performance and availability of enterprise applications and data are currently at an all time high. Growing demands for constant, unwavering access to applications, across any device, coupled with users’ lack of patience in the event of downtime, are putting an unprecedented strain on IT teams. In fact, a recent survey found that IT teams typically take twice as long to resolve tech issues than users are willing to wait.

With such high expectations for application availability, organizations can be tempted to reflect this approach when it comes to their data backup and recovery strategies. The reality is that deploying a blanket strategy to back up all applications and data in the same manner is simply a recipe for disaster (no pun intended). Let’s explore why this one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, why a more structured approach does, and why a focus on disaster prevention is even better.

Universal Backup Doesn’t Cut It

Those same user demands for constant uptime of data and applications are creating an increasingly complex application set and virtual infrastructure. Organizations across the board are deploying a growing number of on-premise, cloud and hybrid storage options – each of which require a unique approach to backup and recovery. Utilizing a multi-faceted backup strategy will not only protect key systems and applications but will ensure enterprises meet increasingly aggressive performance SLAs without breaking the bank.

  Once a storage strategy has been implemented, it’s important that organizations avoid deploying a single, catch-all backup methodology. 

As a first step, IT teams should seek out hybrid storage models to meet their individual application and data needs. For example, in the event of a natural disaster or system failure, businesses may choose to migrate non-mission critical applications to the public cloud and keep critical ones on premise for increased security. Teams should look for solutions that provide this level of flexibility to ensure their backup and recovery methodology can align strategically with business needs.

A methodical approach to restoration

Once a storage strategy has been implemented, it’s important that organizations avoid deploying a single, catch-all backup methodology. Instead, IT teams should make sure they have the ability to forecast acceptable risk profiles for application redeployment, including licensing cost analysis, capital expenditure budgeting, and application availability versus business risk assessment.

A key consideration for businesses is to ensure they’re distinguishing between mission critical and non-mission critical applications and data, and allocating their backup resources accordingly. While certain applications are absolutely necessary to keep a business up and running–like email, or trading tools for financial services–others, such as timesheets or a corporate community platform, can endure downtime with little to no impact on the business. With an estimated one-fifth of enterprise applications considered not mission-critical, optimizing backup resources for priority applications and data is key to ensuring business continuity in the event of breach or system outage.

Backup is necessary, but prevention is control

A multi-faceted backup and recovery methodology is critical to recovering full servers, applications and data in the wake an outage or failure. But to meet the demands of today’s enterprise, the ultimate goal should be shifting from a reactive to a preventive mindset–from recovery to avoidance.

To do this, IT pros should arm themselves with solutions to proactively manage, monitor and protect data and applications across growing hybrid cloud and virtual environments. With this level of visibility, IT pros and admins can easily spot performance anomalies that could indicate outages across all infrastructure, and flag and work to mitigate as needed. By placing equal emphasis on backup and proactive performance and availability optimization, businesses are better positioned to reduce downtime in the wake of a break or system outage than if they were to deploy a disaster recovery solution and strategy alone.

The reality today is that organizations face a constant risk of system downtime–be it a new cyberattack, natural disaster or even human error. Couple this with increasingly impatient users, and it’s easy to see IT teams have their work cut out for them. With the right tools in place, a multi-faceted approach to backup and recovery, and a focus on prevention through management and monitoring, IT teams can strike the right balance between prevention and strategic recovery, needed to keep their systems up and running.