June 22, 2022

Article
3 min

Unlocking Business Continuity Through the Elasticity of the Cloud

Organizations can leverage the public cloud to boost disaster recovery, automatically scale applications and ensure a high level of availability.

Keith Irby

Before the pandemic, the increasing number of natural disasters were already forcing IT professionals to prioritize disaster recovery and business continuity. Then, two years ago, COVID-19 came along and vividly showed us all that interruptions to business operations are not limited to tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires. 

Organizations across industries have looked to cloud resources in recent years for the advantages of cost, security and simplicity. However, people sometimes overlook the business continuity benefits offered by the elasticity of the public cloud. With the cost of IT downtime perhaps higher than ever (now ranging between $140,000 and $540,000 per hour, according to Gartner), business continuity can no longer be ignored.

Here are four ways the public cloud can boost business continuity.

Eliminating Redundancy Across Regions

The public cloud gives organizations the ability to insulate their data and systems from regional natural disasters. Even if a company’s entire on-premises data center is underwater due to flooding, for instance, the organization should be able to access its cloud backups nearly instantaneously. 

Additionally, due to the elasticity of the public cloud, vendors give businesses the option of reducing costs by removing idle recovery site resources. As a result, organizations can pay for both high-demand production and their full disaster recovery sites only when needed.

The Public Cloud Offers Rapid Scalability Through Automation

Resource requirements can increase dramatically during peak times and in the context of a disaster. We saw this during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when businesses scrambled to scale up their video collaboration solutions and other tools to enable remote work. 

One of the chief selling points of the public cloud, of course, is the ability to rapidly scale resources up and down to meet fluctuating demands. Yet, what some may not realize is that this scalability can be automated, ensuring that organizations are not hampered by resource constraints during times when IT professionals are scrambling to simply keep their organizations up and running.

Remote Management Lends Flexibility and Convenience to the Public Cloud

Organizations can manage their public cloud environments from anywhere via remote management platforms. This means that if IT administrators are stuck at home — or even in another part of the world — they can log in to their organizations’ cloud systems and manage IT resources offsite. There is choice in cloud management: It can be managed through a web browser or a command line interface, or through connected APIs that further drive automated actions. As long as proper authentication and authorization for certain actions are confirmed, it shouldn’t matter where the management activity occurs.

This democratization of management allows teams to administer resources in both dynamic and measured ways. Ideally, public cloud resources will be designed to be elastic, available on demand and managed through code. All resources will be treated as an object, and will scale out on demand and scale in when demand decreases, saving costs. With proper planning, all of this can be done without human intervention.

Making the Most of Human Resources

In the same way disasters can affect IT infrastructure, they can also impact the people responsible for managing an organization’s IT environment. Depending on the situation, some IT professionals may be forced to evacuate their homes. Or, as during the pandemic, they might be unable to work due to illness. It is important for organizations to be able to manage a crisis even with an understaffed IT shop. 

Infrastructure as code is a powerful tool for amplifying the efforts of IT workers. Because of the documentation involved with IaC, IT professionals can stay updated on any changes, allowing for a consistency that fuels simplicity. As a result, employees can do more with less and help to ensure higher availability of resources, driving higher revenue through continual innovation.

Story by Keith Irby, a cloud field solution architect for CDW.