Software as a service (SaaS) has become quite popular in today’s marketplace. In just the last two years, the traditional players in this space now face tough competition as customers seek out easier and more affordable solutions. These customers have realized that the SaaS route makes it possible to cut infrastructure expenditures to extents not possible before with the use of the traditional players.

SaaS is also helping businesses shorten the software implementation process and deliver excellent applications at a considerably lower cost and with less risk. TrackAbout Asset Tracking Software is a good example of the type of SaaS services that businesses are going for with an intention to cut costs, lower risk and deliver better services to their consumers.

There is increasing evidence showing that businesses are moving to SaaS vendors for business-critical functions. As SaaS gains momentum towards becoming an industry standard, business enterprises are starting to seriously consider how this shift affects their disaster recovery plan.

While it is true that reputable SaaS vendors would typically have systems in place to prevent downtime, it is not entirely possible to prevent a disaster 100% of the time. Indeed, even the most robust systems by the most powerful companies sometime fail. In any case, it would be naïve for a business leader to count on the disaster preparedness of his SaaS vendor without putting in place his own business continuity plan that is independent of such a provider.

But then, if you want to create a business continuity plan, where do you begin? Here’s the good news: it is not as hard as you might think. Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to enjoying robust business systems backed up by a disaster recovery strategy that’s a cut above the rest.

Step One: Analyzing the source

When implementing this step, the question you need to answer is, does the internal disaster recovery and business continuity plans of the vendor pass the litmus test? Ask your IT department to help you analyze potential vendors and give you their recommendations regarding the vendor’s preparedness for worst-case scenarios.

Step Two: Analyzing the total impact

At this stage, the questions to answer include, what impact to your business would a total loss of service have and what options would be available to you to continue your business processes in the event that the application is impaired?

Step Three: Getting business data back

The question to answer at this stage is, how will you get all your business data back? When disaster strikes your SaaS vendor, you may be unable to get access to your data for hours, or even days. In such a scenario, what will be your options? Perhaps another SaaS vendor?

Step Four: If you are not using it, you should probably drop it

At this stage, you must take time to analyze your business continuity plan. If you have not been testing the recovery plans for a while, consider discarding those old plans and creating new ones. Remember, the effectiveness of a disaster recovery plan is closely tied to how regular it is tested.