Data Protection and the C-Suite: How MSPs Can Gain Executive Buy-in for Disaster Recovery Plans

MARCH 8TH, 2023

By Florian Malecki, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Arcserve

One area that business leaders often neglect is disaster recovery. Last fall, Arcserve’s research found that, while 95 percent of respondents said their company has a disaster recovery plan, only 24 percent have a mature, documented, tested, and updated plan. And, while 83 percent of respondents said their organizations include data resilience in their strategies, only 23 percent have a mature approach with associated goals to track progress.

The good intentions behind having a disaster recovery plan and data resilience strategy don’t matter if disaster strikes your customer's organization and they can’t recover their data and get their operations back up and running fast enough to minimize the damage. That damage can be very costly, with the Uptime Institute finding that in 2022 over 60 percent of failures cost at least $100,000, and 15 percent cost more than $1 million.

Despite these risks, value-added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs) still need to convince executives of the need for a mature disaster recovery plan and data resilience strategy. Here are three ways to convince executives who would prefer to hope disaster never strikes to think beyond simply backing up their organization’s data and investing in a highly effective disaster recovery solution.

1. Explain the Difference Between Backup and Disaster Recovery

Start by raising executive awareness and educating the C-suite about the difference between backup and disaster recovery. While both offer data protection, the differences are essential. Backup consists of making copies of critical files and storing them following a proven methodology.

You should recommend that every organization follow the 3-2-1-1 backup strategy, where there are three copies of the customer’s data—one primary and two backups—with two copies stored locally on two formats (network-attached storage, tape, or local drive) and one copy stored offsite in the cloud or secure storage.

The "1" in 3-2-1-1 stands for immutable storage, where data is converted to a write-once-read-many-times format that can't be altered. Immutability differs from data encryption in that there is no key, so there should be no way to “read” or reverse the immutability.

But even following this strategy doesn’t ensure quick and complete disaster recovery. That’s where your customer’s disaster recovery plan enters the picture. An effective plan guarantees fast, full restoration of almost any data type by going beyond backups. A comprehensive plan outlines every step required for a complete restoration to ensure the expected outcome. It also includes the customer’s recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTOs/RPOs), required staff responses, and regular testing of backups to ensure they can be restored should the need arise.

But backup is only one part of a disaster recovery plan.

2. Emphasize the Business Benefits

While fear can be a powerful motivator, sometimes a positive approach to convincing executives of the need for disaster recovery makes more sense. You can explain that an investment in disaster recovery is also an investment that can maximize revenues and improve business performance by ensuring the business is “always on.” And that isn’t limited to bringing systems back online. It’s also an opportunity for executives to gain insights into every part of their organization while ensuring continuity of services for customers and partners.

Disaster recovery capabilities can drive business success beyond data protection by ensuring employees stay productive. But, as all MSPs know, business leaders only approve new initiatives if they fully understand the impacts. And budgets are always front of mind. So make your case by providing a detailed overview of potential threats balanced against the costs and benefits of a comprehensive disaster recovery program. The stronger your case, the better your chances of closing the deal.

3. Make the Case for DRaaS

When company IT teams spend time on disaster recovery, it diverts them from tasks that support business operations and innovation. That’s why many executives are now turning to MSPs instead of devoting these internal resources to designing, deploying, and maintaining a disaster recovery plan.

A wide range of IT functions that were once managed internally are now offered as a service. That gives your customers an efficient approach to IT and lower costs because no investment in new infrastructure is required for these services.

Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is a fully-managed solution many MSPs offer today. If a disaster brings down your customer’s servers, disks, or other data resources, your DRaaS offering quickly restores the infrastructure. Upstream, you can also ensure that your customer’s data is backed up regularly and that a solid plan is in place for complete disaster recovery. This approach can give business leaders true peace of mind by giving them the confidence that their organization can recover no matter what.

Offer DRaaS from the Data Resilience Leader

Arcserve works with our MSP partners to ensure that every customer’s data can be recovered quickly and easily. Visit our partner success page to learn about becoming an Arcserve technology partner.