We’re living in uncertain times. President Trump’s plans for policy reform and Brexit are creating a climate of confusion and doubt, and it’s impossible to ignore how political risk is impacting businesses.

Depending on which economist you believe, businesses could either be entering a period of increased growth or another recession. Fortunately, moving business continuity to the cloud can help organizations prepare for either – and every – eventuality.

Business continuity versus disaster recovery

The terms disaster recovery and business continuity are often used interchangeably. Although they are closely related, as TechTarget explains, there is a distinct difference between the two.

Disaster recovery is more reactive and refers to having a plan in place for when things go wrong. Business continuity, on the other hand, involves making preparations to ensure a business continues to operate efficiently in the face of adversity.

In times of uncertainty, organizations of all sizes need to be more proactive to minimize risk. To this regard, the qualities of scalability and elasticity provided by cloud computing make planning for business continuity a whole lot easier.

Business continuity through cloud scalability

In IT, capacity planning is the process of estimating the demand for hardware, software and connection resources over a specific amount of time.

Because cloud computing is an on-demand solution, businesses don’t need to take the risk of investing in expensive infrastructure to meet estimated demand. Instead, companies pay service providers as they go solely for the resources they use.

When you’re unsure in which direction the economy is heading, this ability to scale your capacity up or down could prove invaluable.

For instance, if you own a small company with the potential for future growth, having cloud scalability means your system can be built up from a smaller core as demand increases. Equally, if your business hits hard times, cloud elasticity provides the means to scale down your capacity in a cost-effective fashion.

Business continuity through cloud elasticity

If cloud scalability supports long-term strategic needs, cloud elasticity helps businesses to respond dynamically to changes in demand and capacity needs.

Techopedia defines cloud elasticity as “the ability of a cloud service to provide on-demand offerings, nimbly switching resources when demand goes up or down.” As a result, it’s used to quickly scale resources up or down according to an individual business’ needs.

Unlike traditional server-based models, space, storage and RAM are quick and easy to add or remove from a cloud computing system. When your business experiences variability in demand because of external factors, cloud elasticity means you will be able to adjust your resources as and when required.

Business continuity and security

Due to the sheer volume of data flowing within and between organizations, businesses need to be fully aware of their responsibilities towards data storage compliance. To manage the growing complexity of data security in today’s information economy, several protection laws have either recently come into effect or will do so over the next couple of years. It’s your responsibility to ensure the cloud provider you choose is compliant and prepared for changes to international privacy laws.

The General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force on May 28, 2018, is intended to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the European Union. Meanwhile, Privacy Shield, which was adapted in July 2016, is a framework for transferring personal data from the European Union to the United States.

Under these new laws, organizations are now fully accountable and responsible for the data they store. When moving your company to the cloud to take advantage of the business continuity-related benefits, this means you also need to make sure you are fully prepared for changes to international privacy laws.

It’s crucial that businesses understand the damage that failing to plan for disaster can have. In this age of uncertainty, taking your business continuity to the cloud can help ease disruptions caused by fluctuations in demand and capacity.

To learn even more about bullet-proofing your business, check out NewVoiceMedia’s insight-packed white paper, 10 Benefits of Cloud vs On Premise Solutions.