Meeting the Goal of Greater Business Continuity
A business continuity strategy enables an enterprise or organization to keep essential operations running if a natural disaster, network outage – or a global pandemic – occurs.
This blog is part of our series spotlighting some of our clients and unpacking how cloud solutions help businesses reach their goals. Here we detail some of the ways LBM Advantage ensured that it will be protected from any event and always have a quick path forward so operations can continue no matter what comes their way.
LBM Advantage, headquartered in Windsor, NY, and with locations in Grand Rapids, MI, Smithfield, NC, and Monroe, LA, is one of the largest buying cooperatives for lumber and building materials in North America. LBM Advantage’s members benefit from their collective buying power as well as a close relationship with vendors and experienced staff of industry experts. Members also turn to LBM Advantage for educational and leadership growth opportunities through conventions and roadshows.
With four locations and members throughout the U.S., LBM Advantage needed to upgrade its infrastructure and find a reliable and secure way to manage, store, and access data. Because its members count on LBM Advantage’s operations to secure the building materials they need, often within the timeframes outlined in contracts, LBM Advantage also wanted to build a system that would ensure business continuity even after a natural disaster, cyberattack, or other events that lead to a network outage.
LBM Advantage’s Cloud Solutions
We worked with the LBM Advantage team to establish an enhanced data management system in the cloud. This is more than a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) system. Although that is a part of the solution, we also recommended that the organization use a system that prioritizes its data so that vital information is quickly accessible and other data can be retrieved on a longer restore time objective (RTO). As a part of the project, we also consulted with LBM Advantage to upgrade its multi-site infrastructure and network architecture.
This system gave LBM Advantage the assurance that if a disaster or disruption occurred, its team in the area could establish operations at a new location and access the most vital data immediately to keep operating.
What We’ve Learned About Business Continuity Since the LBM Advantage Project
When we spoke about business continuity prior to 2020, companies were most concerned with localized disasters like a fire at a facility, hurricane destruction, tornado, earthquake, or a hardware/communications system failure.
Today, companies across the country– and around the globe – are aware that illnesses, decentralized workforce, decentralized data, and work-from-home orders can also disrupt business continuity. The pandemic forced people to stay at home, limited the number of people that can work in a facility, and interrupted some services that businesses rely on.
In response, our customers have expanded their business continuity strategies to include cloud workspaces, what some people call Desktop as a Service or virtual desktop infrastructure. Cloud workspaces include cloud applications that their employees can access from home to do their jobs. Additionally, they’re transitioning to virtual private server solutions that move infrastructure to the cloud to make it continually accessible and secure, giving a business one centralized “home” for their data and the proper multi-cloud backup and recover plan to ensure they’re protected from anything.
Overall, the key is to create a business continuity plan that provides a business or organization with the flexibility it needs to continue operations, even if its employees can’t work on-premises — in some cases, for months at a time. For many companies and organizations, the key to agility and sustainability is the cloud.