How much time does it take to get your infrastructure back up in the event of a disaster? This is perhaps the most important question in IT operations today because when disaster strikes, the countdown begins. Reports show that it can take anywhere between 1 to 9 hours to recover from a disaster with each hour costing you a whopping $700,000. The moments following a disaster are crucial moments that can make or break the future of your organization – from a financial, reputational, and customer retention perspective. A poll on risk experts by Business Continuity Institute shows that 85% of respondents were concerned by the prospect of a cyber-attack in the next 12 months.

Here are three trends that are going to drive DR in 2016.

Trend # 1 – Making Physical Secondary Sites a Thing Of The Past

There are two essential components to Disaster Recovery (DR) – the data and the hardware or the servers. The traditional approach to DR is to have secondary sites with backup servers up and running in the event of a disaster. Failover is initiated, and all the data and configurations are replicated from these backup servers. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this approach, and the recovery is quick, too. But, consider the cost implications involved in identifying and managing a physical site. Now, with organizations going global, would you have a backup site in each location? And, if the backup site is in the same location as the original site, and the location itself is affected, then how would you address the recovery? These are some pertinent questions that are being considered in designing a DR strategy and driving the fast growing trend of DRaaS.

Trend # 2 – Taking it up a Notch with DR as a Service (DRaaS)

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is fast gaining popularity as they overcome the limitations of traditional recovery services. According to areport by MarketsandMarkets , the DRaaS market is estimated to grow from $1.42 Billion in 2015 to $11.92 Billion in 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 52.9%.

DRaaS not only creates a copy of your data on the cloud, but also makes it possible for you to failover all your servers to the cloud. The cloud provider maintains the infrastructure for you. Microsoft Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is an example of a complete site recovery mechanism that replicates all your data and systems in the event of a mishap.

While, large corporations are ramping up rapidly on cloud solutions, small and medium businesses stand to gain significantly too. It was always a challenge for small businesses to afford secondary sites. With this setup, they no longer have to deal with legacy systems in a secondary site that need to be constantly upgraded or patched to keep in sync with latest version requirements.

Trend # 3 – Moving Up to the Cloud

Cloud solutions are revolutionizing the DR space. No longer do you have disk drives with backup data storage or servers waiting in physical sites, configured and ready to go. Instead, an image of the current environment is stored in a cloud. If a disaster occurs, the image is used to replicate the original environment. This is a dynamic solution that is not only location independent, but also comes at a lower cost. According to the 2016 Spiceworks report , cloud based projects still rank among the top three IT budget spends in organizations. But, we need to understand what they are really using the cloud for. Is it just for data backup or for a more holistic DR solution?

Often, the biggest concern with ramping on to cloud solutions is the cost. 92% of respondents to the TechTarget Disaster Recovery , Business Continuity Survey, confirm that cost is the main factor while deciding on a DR product. Consider this – a downtime of one hour can cost small companies as much as $8000, mid-size organizations $74,000, and an incredible $700,000 for large enterprises. The question is, can you afford to take chance on the downtime and hence the cost impact? Not to mention, the corresponding reputational loss.

Customize Your DR Strategy to Get the Most Out of Your Investment

To control the costs and arrive at a tailor-made solution, you can experiment with a lot of plug-and-play options. But do-it-yourself DR solutions can be tougher and more expensive to implement than on-shelf products. Several companies prefer an integrated solution to business continuity, DR, and risk management, as choosing disparate solutions can lead to higher maintenance costs. Regardless of the approach you take, it is essential that you create a DR strategy that considers your requirements and works best for you in order to maximize your returns.