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Cloud Services for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (Case Study Sample)


For this case study i was provided with details on a hytpotetical organization and had to produce a report for upper management on the pros and cons of utilizing cloud services to enhance the organization's resilience to natural disasters (i.e. enhancing bc/dr using cloud services) Feedback from the client for this order was: "Paper looks amazing". I can provide evidence for this claim upon request.


Cloud Services for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
[Author Name(s), First M. Last, Omit Titles and Degrees]
[Institutional Affiliation(s)]
Author Note
[Include any grant/funding information and a complete correspondence address.]
Cloud Services for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
There has been a concern expressed by top management that our organization is vulnerable to a natural disaster that could impact our IT infrastructure to a point where business could be significantly impacted.
This concern is very real and a relevant part of IT planning and work. Natural or manmade disasters that interrupt the IT services which a modern business like ours relies so much on are likely to happen, especially if one takes a long-term view. CITATION Bau21 \l 11274 (Baudry, 2021)
Currently, we have some form of disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place, as this is deemed a high priority for any organization that is reliant on IT services. This report will explore the possibility of using cloud-based services to increase our resiliency and the pros and cons of such a decision and include a set of recommendations for consideration by the Board and top executive management.
Business continuity
According to CITATION The21 \l 11274 (The Business Continuity Institute, 2021) “Business continuity is about having a plan to deal with difficult situations, so your organization can continue to function with as little disruption as possible.”
This means that the organization is capable to continue providing acceptable goods or services to its customers thanks to pre-disaster plans that were adequately designed and implemented.
Cloud services can help with Business Continuity primarily by virtue of their remote location, thus not being themselves affected by local disasters.
Disaster recovery
According to CITATION NIS10 \l 11274 (NIST, 2010), Disaster Recovery is the set of “Management policy and procedures used to guide an enterprise response to a major loss of enterprise capability or damage to its facilities”
This means that the organization has a pre-made plan and resources in place to resist and recover from natural or manmade disasters.
Cloud services can help there by acting as standby “on-demand” infrastructure. It is faster and simpler to deploy applications from the cloud where the hardware can be reasonably assumed to be safe and sound than from a data center that was recently flooded.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The first and major risk that is transferred to the provider is the risk to the integrity of the hardware that houses our IT systems. They become the ones that have to care about power redundancy and reliability, weather phenomena, political and social instability, and so on.
The second risk that is transferred to the provider is that of data integrity. Our local servers
could act as backup for our main cloud-based servers.
With that said, not all is rosy-colored on the land of Cloud Services. First and foremost, we should always remember that the cloud is not magical. Our software and applications are running on a processor somewhere. Somewhere on a data center, hard drives are storing part or all of our databases. The point the author wishes to make very clear is that using cloud services does not free our business from the basic constraints of reality. The cloud-provider servers and equipment still need power and connectivity to be useful. From that point of view, we would actually be adding risk to our business as currently our local data center does not depend on internet connectivity to run.
Furthermore, the servers of the cloud service provider are still subject to disaster, the same as ours. The difference there, of course, is that we have no actual control over how good their business continuity and disaster recovery planning are.
Last, but not least, we must consider that our cloud-service provider could be hosting their servers in foreign countries with different privacy and regulatory requirements that we might have to adapt to, especially our CRM systems, with the consequent cost to us.
Economic Assessment
The main advantage of cloud-based Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery from an economic standpoint is its flexibility and scalability.
There exists a small but not insignificant risk of vendor-lock in so all contracts must be very carefully reviewed and assessed for potential pitfalls by our legal team.
The exact numbers on costs will depend on our selection of providers and the actual services contracted, therefore at this time, only a reasonable educated guess (order-of-magnitude) as to the cost for a business like us would be can be provided, to the tune of around $1,000 to $5,000 per month.
These economic costs which admittedly can appear large must be balanced against the unlikely but extremely expensive possibility of a disaster striking our facilities. If a once in a decade event costs $500,000 to recover from, that’s approximately $4,167 per month right there.
It must also be kept in mind that we currently have significant capital invested in our existing infrastructure and it would go against the best interests of the company owners to lay this capital to rest.
In a nutshell, cloud-based Business Continuity allows businesses to continue operating much closer to normal, and cloud-based Disaster Recovery allows the return to normal operations to be much faster by virtue of their ease of deployment.
Based on careful analysis of the facts stated in this report so far, a best course and recommendation to the Board is self-evident to me:
Because Business Continuity is short-term but essential while Disaster Recovery takes more time, and considering that the concern is the acute consequences of a disaster disrupting our business, these are the actions I recommend to the Board:
1 Direct our IT department to

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