IT Consulting

Reasons for Outsourcing Business Continuity Plan

Everyone knows that all businesses need a business continuity plan, but not everyone can spend time creating one. 

The problem is that these plans require the right decisions to be made when the time arises, and this process can be difficult without the right knowledge or toolset. If you want to save yourself some of the hassle involved with creating and maintaining business continuity and IT disaster recovery plans, you should consider outsourcing your needs.

In this blog, we’ll look at everything you’ll need to know about a business continuity plan as well as the benefits of outsourcing it.

What is the Purpose of a Business Continuity Plan?

Business Continuity Plan - Layer One Networks

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a framework for establishing and maintaining an organization’s ability to recover from disruption. It typically includes policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards for dealing with emergencies, disasters, and other situations threatening your operations. 

Business continuity planning is also called disaster recovery planning, an extension of business continuity planning. The two terms are often used interchangeably. The plan covers the actions you need to take and the resources you need to have available to continue running your business as usual in the event of a disaster.

For example, if your workplace were damaged by fire or flood, your BCP would help you decide what you need to get your systems and organization back up and running as soon as possible.

A good business continuity plan will include:

  • Information about the different types of risks you face, such as fire, flood, power outage, or cyberattack
  • Steps you will take if each risk occurs
  • A point of the person responsible for making decisions during an emergency
  • The method of communication with employees and customers
  • Estimating the time employees return to work after a major disruption.

When Does a Business Continuity Plan Kick In?

Outsource Business Continuity - Layer One Networks

A business continuity plan’s goal is to ensure your company can continue running its operations after any disruption — even if the disruption lasts for several days or weeks. The plan includes procedures for dealing with emergencies, finding temporary office space and equipment for employees who might not be able to get to work, and communicating with customers and other stakeholders.

A BCP is part of an organization’s overall business risk management strategy — it’s not just about IT or technology issues. It includes plans for dealing with events such as: 

  • Fires, floods and power outages
  • Human resource issues such as employee absences or illnesses
  • Regulatory compliance issues
  • Supply chain issues
  • Financial matters such as cash flow management
  • Reputation management; legal issues; media relations
  • Environmental concerns such as hazardous materials spill or chemical leaks
  • Public relations issues
  • Community relations issues and 
  • Even pandemic preparedness.

Why are the Main Reasons to Develop a Business Continuity Plan?

Disaster Recovery Service - Layer One Networks

To Protect Your Business from Disaster

A disaster can wreak havoc on your business. A fire, flood or another major incident could close your business for good if it isn’t equipped to withstand such an event. When you use business continuity services, you can protect your company from the effects of natural disasters or artificial events such as cyber-attacks and power outages.

To Minimize Business Interruption

Business continuity services like backup and disaster recovery services include an array of resources that you can use to recover quickly after an emergency strikes and minimize interruptions in service for your customers. These resources include backup facilities, disaster recovery plans and computer systems designed to withstand any failure and keep your operations running smoothly even during a crisis.

To Reduce Costs Associated with Disasters

A disaster can cost your company significant amounts of money when a disaster strikes. For example, if your data center floods and causes damage to equipment or other assets inside, it may take weeks or even months for repairs to be completed — leaving you without access to critical information needed for day-to-day operations. 

IT disaster recovery services help reduce costs associated with these situations by ensuring that there’s always someone available who can step in and ensure everything runs smoothly.

Help You Meet Compliance Requirements

Many industries have compliance requirements that should be met to remain operational within those industries. For example, financial institutions must meet specific regulatory requirements to continue operating as financial institutions within their region or state jurisdictions. 

With IT disaster recovery services that include compliance measures, you can ensure that your company remains compliant with all applicable laws and regulations even during a crisis.

Protecting Your Data

Data loss can be devastating for any business and can threaten your business’s very foundation. With a well-planned BC plan in place, you’ll be able to protect your data from natural disasters and other types of damage that could result in data loss.

Why Do You Need to Outsource Business Continuity Plan?

Business Continuity - Layer One Networks

Is outsourcing business continuity important when running your own business?

Very much so. With the growing number of businesses outsourcing their services, it is no surprise that many have started looking for a reliable business continuity plan provider. This is because they want to make sure that their business will be able to continue operating even in the event of an emergency. There are many reasons why you need IT disaster recovery services and a business continuity plan:

Reduce the Time Taken for Recovery

The key benefit of outsourcing a business continuity plan is that it will reduce the time taken for recovery. When you outsource a BC plan, you can get professionals who are experts in this field and who are well-versed with all the latest tools and technologies required to make your business recover faster from any IT disaster. This means that they can offer you 24/7 support whenever a disaster strikes.

Leverage the Skills of Experienced BC Experts

When you outsource a business continuity plan, you can leverage the skills of BC experts who have expertise in handling critical incidents affecting businesses of all sizes. These experts have new ideas for improving your BC plan and making it more efficient.

You can also seek their advice on implementing cost-effective solutions that will help your business recover faster from any IT disaster. Doing so will allow you to save both time and money while ensuring that all your critical systems are protected at all times.

Save Time and Money

Business continuity planning is a complicated process and it can take up a lot of time if done if the right person doesn’t handle it. 

Also, creating a plan from scratch can be very expensive, especially if you are not experienced in doing so. If you outsource the plan for IT disaster recovery services to any of the experienced IT consulting firms, it will save both time and money for your company. You do not need to hire extra people just to create this plan; instead, you can hire professionals who already have experience and know what they are doing when it comes to creating such plans for other companies. 

Include Latest Technology to Fuel Fast Recovery

Business continuity plans should include technology that helps speed up recovery efforts during disasters or outages by using the latest technologies of cloud computing, remote access, etc. With a BCP outsourcing company to help, you can ensure that you have all the right tools and technologies to ensure that the system recovers as fast as possible.

The Process Involved in Business Continuity As A Service 

  • Business impact analysis: This step involves identifying critical assets and functions, as well as their dependencies on other assets and functions. The objective is to determine how much downtime each asset or function can withstand before it becomes unusable or irreplaceable.
  • Identification of risks to BC plans: The data recovery and business continuity company will identify all the related risks, including those that are external and internal.
  • Identification of recovery strategies: The team will analyze and plan an individual recovery strategy for each risk identified during the business impact analysis step, along with recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). An RTO is an organization’s target amount of time it expects to resume normal operations after a disruption; an RPO is an organization’s target amount of data loss that can be tolerated during a disruption before resuming normal operations.
  • Creation of disaster recovery documentation: This document will outline all the essential steps for recovering critical systems after a disaster hits, along with operational continuity and resilience steps.

Implement a Data Backup and Recovery Services

Data Backup & Recovery Service - Layer One Networks

Business continuity planning is a vital part of strategic management in every organization. So if you have any kind of service-oriented business, then it makes sense to think about how your organization will continue even if some kind of disaster strikes.

If you’re looking for a reliable company to outsource business continuity planning, then look no more than our experts at Layer One Networks. We provide end-to-end managed IT services with a business continuity plan, including IT disaster recovery services. To discuss your need for data backup and recovery services, contact us now.

 

Cloud Services

Understanding The Difference Between Cloud Computing and Traditional IT Infrastructure

Confused about choosing cloud or your traditional on-premise IT infrastructure?

Well, cloud computing and traditional IT infrastructure are different methods of running an enterprise. The former is a model where a third-party provider hosts your data and applications, while the latter is where you own and maintain your hardware and software.

In this blog, we will dig deep into some of the differences between these two types of infrastructure models in terms of setup, costs, flexibility, and scalability.

Infrastructure Setup

Traditional IT Infrastructure - Layer One Networks

  • Cloud Computing: Cloud computing refers to delivering hosted services over the internet. It allows users to access applications and storage over the internet without purchasing their hardware or software licenses. This makes it possible for companies to scale up or down as needed, which helps them save on costs associated with IT infrastructure maintenance. 

It also helps with compliance because you don’t have to worry about keeping your data secure from hackers or malware attacks since everything resides in a secure offsite location managed by a third-party provider.

  • Traditional IT Infrastructure: Traditional IT infrastructure refers to an on-premises setup where all applications and data are stored on company-owned hardware and software licenses. This setup can be expensive because businesses need to invest in new equipment every few years to keep up with demand for new features, not to mention all the additional costs associated with operating systems.

Scalability

  • Cloud Computing: The ability of cloud computing to scale up or down as needed without any downtime or disruption is one of its key benefits. For example, if you need more storage space or processing power, you can simply add more resources by increasing the number of virtual machines (VMs) in your server farm. As you reduce your usage, you can shut down VMs and free up those resources for other uses.

  • Traditional IT Infrastructure: In a traditional IT infrastructure, data is stored locally on your company’s servers or storage devices. In other words, all your data is stored in one place where it can be accessed locally by everyone who needs access. This means that if your business grows bigger and you need more storage capacity, you will need to buy more hardware and invest in expensive upgrades to keep up with demand.

Remote Flexibility 

Cloud Computing - Layer One Networks

  • Cloud Computing: Cloud computing allows you to access all your data from anywhere at any time without worrying about where it’s stored or how much space it takes up on your hard drive or server. This makes it easy for employees to work remotely since they don’t have to carry around laptops or tablets anymore; they just log into their PCs via VPN or some other secure connection method so they can access their files from their homes or while traveling on business trips.

  • Traditional IT Infrastructure: Traditional IT infrastructures are rigid as they are difficult to change without significant cost implications or downtime associated. It is not flexible enough to meet the changing needs of businesses. 

Costs

  • Cloud Computing: Cloud computing solutions tend to be cheaper than traditional ones because they require less upfront investment on your part as well as reduced ongoing expenses such as maintenance fees or power bills. The pay-per-use model makes it easier to scale up or down your usage as needed without paying large setup fees or monthly minimums.
  • Traditional IT Infrastructure: Traditional IT infrastructures are owned and operated by an organization directly. The organization owns all the hardware, software, operating systems, and applications needed to provide its employees with IT services. The organization also hires IT support staff members responsible for maintaining the infrastructure. 

You may even need to hire an IT consultant service for managed services to handle your infrastructure. All of this contributes to a huge amount in the installation as well as the operating costs of the traditional IT infrastructure.

When Should You Choose One Over the Other?

Cloud Computing & IT Infrastructure - Layer One Networks

Cloud computing has numerous benefits over traditional IT infrastructure 

  • It is flexible and scalable, meaning it can grow or shrink as needed based on your business needs. 
  • Cloud computing also offers increased security since your data is stored in a central location rather than on your computer. 
  • Cloud computing provides access to and uses IT resources as a service rather than building and maintaining them in-house. Cloud computing allows organizations to focus more on business innovation than IT maintenance and support.
  • Additionally, it reduces costs by eliminating the need for equipment purchases and maintenance costs.

A traditional IT infrastructure has some advantages over cloud computing as well. 

  • A traditional IT infrastructure allows you greater control over your systems.
  • Such control can be critical if you have sensitive data that must remain confidential or if there are compliance issues like HIPAA regulations requiring certain security measures that a public cloud service provider can’t fulfill.

If you want more information about the best choice for your organization, reach out to our IT consulting firm. Our IT support specialist is an expert in all things cloud computing and IT infrastructure and can guide you to make the right choice.

Security

Benefits & Risks of Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity

Cloud computing is a natural fit for cybersecurity. 

For large corporations and even small and medium-sized businesses, the cloud offers a variety of benefits that can improve operational performance. And for most companies, moving to the cloud and leveraging cybersecurity is an essential step toward future growth.

It’s becoming more and more common for companies to outsource their IT needs to save time and money, but with increased outsourcing comes increased risk. 

In this blog, we’ll look at the benefits and risks of cloud computing as well as cybersecurity.

Why is Cloud Computing + Cybersecurity the Best Choice?

CloudComputing

Cloud computing is at the top of its popularity and for a good reason. It makes companies more efficient, productive, and profitable. Though the cloud does have some drawbacks when it comes to security, there are far more benefits than outweigh them.

Scalability 

One of the most prominent benefits of cloud computing is its scalability. When it comes to cybersecurity, this means that companies can now have access to data security solutions and protocols that they couldn’t afford on their own. As their businesses grow, so will their cloud-based security solutions and protocols by using firewalls and other tools when they need them.

Custom Security

Another benefit of cloud computing is that it allows companies to customize the level of protection they receive based on their specific industry or business needs. For example, if you’re an e-commerce company, you can focus specifically on data security measures for credit card information as opposed to a government agency that might have different regulations or concerns. You can even customize protections based on your specific business model—a SaaS provider would have different needs than an IaaS provider.

Instant Data Access

Cloud computing makes it easier for employees to work from multiple locations on multiple devices like smartphones and tablets. This can help improve productivity, especially if the company has employees that work remotely or travel frequently.

Secure Data Storage

Companies use cloud computing to store information in offsite data centers, accessible through the internet by authorized users. The cloud stores data securely so that it takes a lot more effort to steal information than with traditional storage methods like hard drives and memory sticks.

Quick Information Sharing

Cloud computing allows for faster access to information which means less time wasted searching for files or waiting for them to download from an email attachment. Not only does this increase efficiency, but also improves customer service as well because customers don’t have to wait as long when making inquiries about products or services offered by the company.

Inexpensive; No Infrastructure Costs

Cloud computing offers cost benefits because you don’t have to invest in expensive hardware equipment or software systems to get started. You also don’t have to worry about spending money on servers and other IT infrastructure and cybersecurity architecture, as everything from data storage to upgrades is taken care of by your service provider. This makes it easy for small businesses to manage their technology needs without straining their budgets or resources.

Automatic Software Updates 

Most cloud service providers offer automatic updates as part of their service, so users don’t have to worry about downloading or installing updates and patches.

This saves them time and makes it easier to get new features without having to buy new versions of the software they use.

What are the Downsides of Cloud and Cybersecurity?

Cloud and Cybersecurity

Cloud Computing has become a bit of a buzzword in the past few years. While some people are still hesitant to adopt this technology, many businesses have already made the transition. And while there are many reasons why Cloud Computing can be beneficial, it also has its share of risks. 

So is it worth it? Let’s dive into the three main risks associated with Cloud Computing and see how you can mitigate them.

Concerns about Outage

The biggest drawback of cloud computing is not having access to the data if there’s an outage on one of their servers or something happens where they can no longer provide service for some reason (e.g. natural disaster). In this case, you’ll need a physical backup to resume your work and if all your data resides on the cloud, you may need to wait until the cloud reboots to begin your work.

Solution: A great solution to handle this issue is to choose a reliable provider. There are many cloud computing services online and you can get the help of an IT consulting firm to choose a provider where there are no such issues.

Concerns about Data Security 

One of the things that makes people feel uncomfortable about storing their data in the cloud is that they don’t have control over it anymore. You store all of your sensitive data online and trust one or several third-party providers to keep it safe, but what if they fail?

What if you accidentally delete a file and forget to check your trash folder? If you don’t have a backup, all that information will be lost forever, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Solution: You can use backup and recovery solutions to keep your data safe even in case you inadvertently deleted your information. While this is a common issue, this happens with all systems — both physical servers and the cloud.

Concerns about Insider Threats

Insider threats are a big problem for cloud computing. The cloud is only as secure as its weakest link, and the weakest link is often the people who have access to the data.

There are employees in your organization who have access to sensitive data, and they may not be using it responsibly. Sometimes, that’s because they’re malicious — they’re actively trying to harm the company by selling or leaking sensitive information. However, most other times, it’s because they aren’t educated about security or safety protocols. They might be sloppy with their passwords or click on phishing links because they don’t recognize them as suspicious. This could harm your entire cloud network.

Solution: The best way to handle this issue is to conduct regular safety programs and educational seminars to keep your employees appraised about the safety measures they need to follow.

Looking for a company offering IT consultant service and security service in Corpus Christi? Reach out to our team today to get guidance on the latest cloud security measures and protocols.

Cloud Services

What Is Cloud Computing and How It Works?

Today technological advancements have seen a big boom, ask any business about their current computing configuration, and “cloud” will be their common answer.

Over the past decades, file sharing and saving have seen a vital development. File sharing devices to support the fast-moving lifestyle are becoming smaller and with higher capacities. There is no need for you to manage all your documents in one device. Rather you can access your files sitting at any place 24/7, all thanks to “Cloud Computing”

So in this context piece, let’s understand what is cloud computing and how cloud computing mechanisms work?

What Is Cloud Computing?

You must have come across cloud symbols that replicate the internet on diagrams. The Internet as a virtual space is like a cloud that connects users across the globe and shares information via satellite networks.

Cloud computing is nothing but a system where you get the required facility on demand to store data, share, and operate applications, computer power, and various IT resources through the Internet. The cloud provider holds and manages the hardware network for cloud computing. Cloud computing services are preferred by a wide range of people across their daily lives. 

Cloud computing ensures that maximum computing works are carried out by the cloud system. Once you install the cloud interface software in your system it will confirm that all your storage, computing, and data backup needs are met. This means on premise software and hardware will be less involved eventually. Email is the best e.g. of cloud storage system, once you make an account on a web-based electronic mail service you can access it from any corner of the world. Your account and its data are stored regardless of the computer wherein you created the same.

Types of Cloud Computing

There are different types of cloud computing models, services that have evolved with time to suffice your business requirements with correct solutions. It is important to identify the cloud computing architecture on which your services will be implemented upon. There are 3 different methods to deploy cloud computing services on public, hybrid, or private cloud. All three clouds are different.

1. Public Cloud

Operated and owned by third-party cloud service providers that deploy their computing resources like storage and servers over the Internet. You can access services and manage your account while your cloud provider owns and manages all the supporting infrastructure, hardware, and software. An example of a public cloud is Microsoft Azure.

2. Private Cloud

Exclusive cloud computing resources for a single organization or business is a private cloud. 3rd party cloud computing services are also hired by some companies to host their private cloud. A private cloud can be physically situated on the company’s on-site data center. Services and infrastructure of a private cloud are retained on a private network.

3. Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud is an amalgamation of private and public clouds. You can get amazing flexibility with a hybrid cloud to move your applications or data between private and public clouds as per your business requirements. You can optimize your existing security, compliance, and infrastructure and simultaneously get more deployment options with a hybrid cloud.

Types of Cloud Services

1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS encompasses cloud computing basics with easy access to computers, data storage base, and networking features. Get the best flexibility to govern your business IT resources as compared to other types of cloud services with IaaS.

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Cloud computing services that provide an on-request environment to develop, test, deliver, and manage software applications are platforms as a service. PaaS is designed in a manner to make it stress-free for developers to quickly build mobile and web applications. You will no longer need to worry about resource procurement, software maintenance, capacity planning, patching, and other heavy work required to run your business applications.

3. Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS offers a complete product to end-users which are managed and operated by their cloud service provider. With SaaS, you need not bother about the management of the underlying cloud infrastructure or the maintenance of the service. For e.g. Outlook and Gmail both are SaaS applications.

Thus in modern digital times, cloud computing is nothing less than a boon for businesses. One of the important benefits of cloud computing is the ability to access your data anytime across the globe. You just require a browsing device and a perfect internet connection.

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

There are 2 operational parts of a cloud computing system front end and back end. Both the sections are well connected with one another through the internet.

Front-end refers to the part of the computer user that is you the cloud client. It includes the application part and on premise computer network with which you can access cloud computing.

While back-end refers to the “cloud” part. This section represents different computers, servers, and data storage which unite to make up the “cloud” part of the cloud computing system.

One central server rules the entire system of cloud computing including the traffic and the client requirements. The monitoring central server adheres to a list of protocols and uses middleware as its special software program. This program allows ease of communication among the networked computers on the cloud. In the end, what you get is the facility to access your data from across the globe and any device with the best security.

Cloud computing services are being leveraged by companies to save on the price of software and hardware and avoid numerous repairs and operations. Cloud computing has a multitude of benefits but just ensure you sign-up with a secure and authentic cloud provider.

Layer One Networks can be your best cloud computing partner. What sets us apart in the competition as a cloud computing service provider is our results. 

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us or give us a call now on 361.653.6800 to see how we can help serve your Cloud Computing needs.