Four Key Steps to Future-Proofing Your Business

disaster recovery planning
August 24, 2023

Our environment and work are constantly changing. In the last few years, we have experienced natural disasters, a pandemic, economic concerns, and for many, a change in where and how we work. All these factors have made our IT systems and data more vulnerable to attack, and the need to future-proof our business even more critical.

In this blog, we will dive into the four steps you must take to future-proof your IT ecosystem. A plan is essential, so you can respond quickly in a crisis.

Strengthen Your Partner Ecosystem

No business is an island unto itself. A partner ecosystem that includes vendors, consultants, and IT experts in your partner ecosystem will play an essential part in your evolution. The network should be managed and leveraged as any part of the business.

Take careful stock of your partner roster and ensure they can work collectively. Here are the qualities you should expect in a partner:

Innovative in practice. Reacting to change is good; bringing change is even better. Ask your partners what upcoming changes in your industry they’re aware of and what they’re doing to react.

Understanding of you AND your customer’s pain points. Your partners can’t help you evolve if they don’t understand your business or your customers. Make sure they’re tuned in. Influencers in their field. The best partners will be delivering value and visibly driving change through publishing insights, leading discussions in your industry, and aggressively seeking knowledge.

Questions to Consider

  1. Who are the vendors, suppliers, and other partners that make up this ecosystem? Are there any
    gaps or deficiencies that need to be remediated?
  2. Are the current partners capable of taking the business where it needs to be?
  3. How will your partnership network react to support you if a critical failure should occur?
  4. Are there any gaps in your network that could be used for closing?
  5. Is the full potential of the partner network being fully realized?

Start with Assessment

It’s important to know where the business is to steer where it’s going. As such, a future-proofing
assessment should involve a trajectory with at least three points: the business’s current position, where it wants to be in the short term, and where it’s moving to over a long horizon.

With that path mapped out, the final step will be to throw a wrench into the works and explore what happens if the best-laid plans go awry. Consider factors that are both within and beyond the control of the business, such as natural disasters, economic fluctuations, and cyber-attacks. How long can the business survive if it loses control? Identifying such limits will be critical to planning for the unknown.

Questions to Consider

  1. How will partners in the ecosystem support the business in its five-year trajectory? Will vendors
    and suppliers be an asset in this period during times of uncertainty and disruption?
  2. Will you need any additional IT talent in the next five years?
  3. What systems are causing major inefficiencies, and how will these compound over time?
  4. Which workloads are on-premises, and which may move to the cloud?
  5. Is regular IT training keeping up with the pace of change?

Remain Resilient

In a 2023 Ransomware Report by Veeam, they stated that the most common element of an incident response playbook is a good backup. They found that 87% of organizations have a risk management program that drives their security roadmap or strategy. However, only 35% believe their program is working well, while 52% are seeking to improve their situation, and the remaining 13% still need an established program.

When a catastrophic event happens to your business, it is too late to plan and secure your data. If your plan is not air-tight, now is an excellent time to update disaster recovery plans to account for the increased prevalence of natural disasters, a growing number of cybersecurity threats, and increased strains on the supply chain. Try compiling a complete list of internal and external change factors, including hardware/software updates, legacy applications, staffing changes, and new facilities.

Questions to Consider

  1. How long can the business go without power, internet, and phone service?
  2. Is the hardware capable of performing the tasks we want?
  3. Do you have geo-diversity outside the area in case of natural disasters?
  4. Are there bottleneck effects when moving large amounts of data?
  5. When was the last time the disaster recovery plan was tested?

Leverage Cloud Services

Gartner predicts that enterprise IT spending on public cloud computing will exceed 51% by 2025. More than half of IT budgets will soon be dedicated to the cloud. For many businesses, cloud systems are becoming more robust with public, private, and hybrid-cloud solutions. Multi-cloud is especially beneficial because organizations can store their sensitive data and critical applications in a private cloud, offering greater security and control while still taking advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness of public cloud services for less sensitive workloads.

Utilizing the right cloud infrastructure for each unique task streamlines operations, minimizes expenses, and enables compliant growth. You can learn more about the right solution for your business here.

Questions to Consider 

  1. Does your Cloud Provider have Industry Experience?
  2. Are their solutions customizable to your business needs?
  3. How does cloud proximity to users affect outcomes?
  4. Are flexible billing options available to support rapid scalability?
  5. Do you need full-service or self-managed support?

Anyone who isn’t at least a little nervous about the future isn’t paying attention. Slow movers may be restricted by inflexible technology or unable to respond to a crisis due to a lack of a solid and tested plan.

Ensure your partners can help position you to navigate the waves of change. The best partners will be those that can provide unique value and act as an onramp to even greater partner networks and technologies.

Needing support with future-planning your IT systems? DartPoint’s has you covered. Learn more about our services HERE