Databarracks, the UK’s specialist business continuity and IT disaster recovery provider, and Oosha, one of the leading providers of cloud desktop and managed IT services to the UK legal sector, have partnered to launch vendor independent cloud services in order to mitigate risk and allay the fears of organisations in the UK professional services market.
When an organisation chooses to outsource the provision and management of their IT infrastructure, broadly it will choose either a single or multi-vendor strategy. There are pros and cons with each, but when it comes to business continuity it can be a very risky strategy to choose a single vendor to manage both the production IT environment and the disaster recovery service.
Vendor independence, in this context, means the managed cloud infrastructure provider works with a disaster recovery specialist to spread risk and minimise the impact of any loss of service – therefore providing a much more resilient solution overall.
Peter Groucutt, managing director at Databarracks, comments: “This is a bold and brave move by Oosha. The conventional thinking of managed IT service providers is to offer as many services as possible in order to gain as much ‘wallet-share’ from their customers, regardless of whether it is actually in the best interest of the customer. By working with Databarracks, a specialist continuity provider, Oosha’s clients receive a superior service – baking in supply chain resilience through independent vendors.”
Increased dependence on technology
For professional services firms, their growing dependence on technology has significantly increased the complexity involved with managing their IT infrastructure.
At the same time, the risk landscape has drastically altered. Professional service firms have become a prime target for cyber-attacks, largely due to the sensitive customer and financial data flowing through their businesses.
Matthew Newton, operations director at Oosha, adds: “While most firms recognise that this heavy reliance on technology carries a high level of risk and have taken the necessary precautions, the use of a single IT supplier introduces its own risks. It is very common for firms to use a single vendor to manage and support their cloud IT infrastructure and applications, alongside their disaster recovery service. This is normally because they have not considered that their whole supply chain is potentially vulnerable to the same level of external threat as they are.”
“Even with the high levels of IT and security expertise that exist within most capable IT managed service providers, in today’s climate no business is immune and no organisation exists in a vacuum, unaffected by events that could lead to their own demise. If a firm were to experience a loss of service from their IT provider for whatever reason, an ‘all your eggs in one basket’ supply chain approach would be difficult to recover from quickly.”
Peter Groucutt: “The correct approach for firms is to introduce the principles of Supplier Risk Management. Our aim is to overcome supply chain interruptions, whether the cause is physical disruption, cyber, insolvency or even the removal of a service. These are the issues we address in business continuity planning. As an organisation you identify the service you provide to your customers, you identify the IT and human assets that support the service and then plan mitigation strategies to ensure you can continue to operate in the event of any incident.”
Matthew Newton: “As both a managed cloud provider and a specialist in the professional services sector, we fully understand the concerns of partners and the unique challenges that professional services firms face. Although at Oosha we have the capability to provide both the production and business continuity environments, we realise that this scenario does not always meet the unique requirements of the sector. Because of this we have decided to partner with Databarracks, the UK’s leading disaster recovery provider, to develop an independent business continuity solution that mitigates risk and allays the fears of partners. We did so because we believe that our clients should have the peace of mind that should the unthinkable happen, they have an independent continuity specialist on-hand to ensure continuation of service.
Peter Groucutt: “There is an excellent cultural fit between the two companies. We’re both specialist technology providers managed and run by business owners with a real passion for delivering quality services. We serve the same markets and Oosha have always stood out to us as a business that understands the legal and professional services market and delivers high quality services to meet those requirements.