Posted by: Tyler Bower

If the pandemic, increasing cyber-attacks, and snowballing natural disasters have taught us anything, it’s that ensuring operational resilience is more crucial than ever. Companies that invest in comprehensive business continuity planning position themselves to navigate disruptions without compromising their operations, reputation, or financial stability. Organizations rely on many applications to keep their operations running smoothly. Among the most critical applications is an organization’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which manages everything from inventory and order processing to financials and human resources.

One of the single best ways organizations can enhance business continuity and navigate risk surrounding their ERP application is to move to a private cloud hosting model. Let’s talk about business continuity, why it matters, and how private cloud ERP hosting might fit into your organization’s continuity plan.

What Business Continuity Planning Is and Why It Matters

Simply put, business continuity planning is a strategic process that prepares an organization for disruptions that can affect its normal operations. These disruptions can range from natural disasters like hurricanes and floods to incidents like cyber-attacks, power outages, or even supply chain failures. The primary goal of business continuity planning is to ensure that essential functions can continue during and after a disaster, thereby minimizing the impacts on the business.

In addition to the inconvenience, downtime is extremely costly. The average cost of downtime per minute for small businesses is $427 and $9,000 for larger enterprises. From an hourly perspective, a single hour of downtime costs small businesses roughly $25,620 and over half a million ($540,000) for enterprises.

How Private Cloud Hosting Fits Into the Plan

Moving your organization’s critical business applications, such as its ERP, to the cloud mitigates many of the dangers facing your operation. In addition, private cloud hosting offers numerous benefits that promote productivity and optimize your technology spending.

  • Flexibility and Scalability
    One of the most notable advantages of cloud hosting is its inherent scalability. Whether you’re facing a sudden influx of web traffic or need to scale down operations, cloud resources can be quickly adjusted to meet your current needs. This flexibility is crucial in ensuring your business can adapt to unforeseen situations, adding vital resiliency to your operations.
  • Redundancy and Reliability
    Modern cloud hosting service providers design their platforms with redundancy in mind. They often store your data across multiple geographic locations and distribute computational resources across various servers. This design ensures that even if one component or site fails, another will take its place, minimizing downtime and service interruptions.
  • Automated Backups and Disaster Recovery
    Cloud hosting providers often offer automated backup services and robust disaster recovery solutions. In the event of data loss due to a cyber attack, human error, or any other disruption, these features allow businesses to restore data and resume operations quickly.
  • Remote Accessibility
    With your ERP and other business applications hosted in the cloud, remote access becomes exponentially easier. Whether due to a natural disaster that makes your primary location inaccessible or a pandemic that necessitates remote work, your team can continue to operate as long as they have internet access. This accessibility ensures that your business can maintain operational continuity, which is difficult to achieve with on-premises ERP solutions.
  • Cost-Effectiveness
    Business continuity planning often involves preparing for scenarios requiring rapid resource scaling. In traditional, on-premises setups, this would mean investing in hardware and software that may sit idle during periods of normal operation. Cloud hosting eliminates this issue by offering a pay-as-you-go model, allowing businesses to only pay for the resources they use. This cost-effective approach ensures that resources can be quickly allocated when needed.
  • Security and Compliance
    Security is a paramount concern in any business continuity plan. Reputable cloud hosting providers invest heavily in security measures such as encryption, firewalls, and multi-factor authentication to protect your data. Additionally, many cloud services are designed to meet compliance standards like SOC 2, GDPR, HIPAA, and ISO 27001, adding an extra layer of assurance.
  • Vendor Support and Expertise
    Cloud hosting service providers specialize in maintaining uptime, security, and system performance. Their expertise frees up internal resources to focus on other aspects of business continuity. If an issue does arise, 24/7 support and professional service-level agreements (SLAs) help ensure that any disruption is addressed as swiftly as possible.

The Cloud at Work Advantage

Cloud at Work is a virtual private cloud hosting provider specializing in hosting Sage ERP and extended Sage applications (Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, Sage HRMS, and Sage Fixed Assets) in our secure, high-performance, private cloud infrastructure. We’ve designed our solution to optimize your application performance, secure your data, and, most importantly, ensure business continuity. Part of what sets Cloud at Work apart is our partnership with Microsoft Azure, which allows us to deliver unparalleled service reliability and scalability.

Why Microsoft Azure?

As part of our commitment to delivering superior service, we built Cloud at Work’s private cloud infrastructure on Microsoft Azure. The Azure platform offers significant and unique advantages that amplify the Cloud at Work value proposition:

  • Seamless Resilience and Scalability
    Azure’s global network of data centers provides unparalleled fault tolerance and geographic redundancy. This means your ERP system remains online and accessible, even if one data center experiences issues, ensuring the business continuity you need.
  • Built In Security and Compliance
    Azure meets a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance standards, including GDPR, ISO 27001, and HIPAA. This adds an extra layer of credibility and security to your data.
  • Access to Advanced Technologies
    Azure’s range of innovative services, such as AI and machine learning capabilities, offers a path for future expansion and competitive advantage. The infrastructure can quickly adapt to your increasingly sophisticated needs as you grow. For example, many of our ERP hosting clients also elect to have us host Microsoft 365 and their Exchange servers on the platform.

The integration of Microsoft Azure into the Cloud at Work service offering amplifies our ability to promote business continuity. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring that your business remains operational and that your data is safe, no matter what challenges come your way.

The Business Continuity Factor

When choosing a hosting service for your ERP applications, look for a solution that aligns with your short and long-term business goals. It’s a dangerous world out there. Cloud at Work offers a robust, secure, and scalable private cloud hosting service built to meet your business continuity goals. Our partnership with Microsoft Azure provides a fortified environment that puts business continuity at the forefront.

Contact our cloud hosting experts to learn more.