Considerations for outsourcing recovery solutions
Outsourcing recovery solutions for business incase of a disaster is one way to achieve business continuity objectives.
When an organization determines the need to identify business continuity locations for response and recovery purposes, it should invest time and effort to clearly understand risks and requirements, and assess whether an internal or external solution is the best fit.
This includes understanding business recovery requirements, service levels, and any other key metrics to ensure that the end-state continuity capabilities will effectively support the business.
The decision to insource or outsourcing recovery solutions is not purely an economic consideration. The ability to react and adapt to changes in the business, and the ability to ensure quality service, are the primary drivers. To determine whether it makes sense to insource or outsource, consider the following:
• Defining and measuring the solution: Successful continuity solutions are dependent on not only how well an organization defines its business recovery requirements, but also how well it can measure success.
• Financial savings: Outsourcing, in many cases, provides a cost-effective alternative to providing the services in-house.
• Sharing the risk: When you outsource your business continuity solutions, you essentially share the risk with your alternate site provider; however, control is often sacrificed.
• Delivery: Delivery is not guaranteed if an organization outsources to a third-party provider, unless management arranges for a dedicated site, which can eliminate the cost-effective element of outsourcing.
• Scalability: The end-state solution needs to be positioned to meet your organization’s growth requirements, not just its current state.
• Stability: A key consideration, especially for IT, is to focus exclusively on outsourcing functions and assets deemed stable and reliable (mature, definable and measurable). Other less stable business functions or IT components, which are constantly changing, are probably not good candidates for outsourcing, since their variability drives change, and change drives increased cost and instability.
• Subject matter expertise – In some cases, a business does not have the skills to adequately staff both a primary and an alternate location, whereas a third-party may be better positioned to assist with initial recovery operations in the absence of personnel (if impacted by the event, or if they are traveling to the alternate site).
To summarize, the most important insourcing/outsourcing consideration is to ensure the solution (internal or external) is the right choice to effectively support the business. Organizations, like individuals, may be willing to pay more for the right level of support.
Outsourcing recovery solutions should be sought after considering various inherent risks.