Work Area Recovery – Is This Seat Taken?

Daisy’s Andy Dunn gives a candid service provider view of the work area recovery market and explains where the industry is heading. Find out what’s driving change in the industry with a quickfire Q&A with Andy, and download the CIR Magazine article below.

How big is the work area recovery (WAR) market in the UK?

The business continuity market in terms of our work area recovery offering was quoted as circa £450m of available UK spend according to Forrester, three years ago. The traditional market has been in steady decline as the customer’s perception of traditional services wanes, and new perceptions and confidence in cloud and in-house solutions develop to suit changing priorities and budget planning. However, we see a steadying of services from a security and risk perspective. We expect that the traditional spend will level off as the bedrock customers emerge for those services. This will make for an interesting challenge for larger and niche service providers alike.

Is there a saturation of seats in the main metropolitan areas and elsewhere?

Yes and no. Dedicated positions in the main, are committed and remain consistently contracted between 98% and 100% of our availability. Ideally, we would like to have more capacity for additional dedicated services provision, but for all business continuity providers, this is an economic challenge on the commercials and business case. We can maintain our syndicated seat services at healthy subscription rates for effective risk-management in all areas across our estate – and this means that our integrated service offerings across data, cloud, people and cyber, are more compelling and able to meet the needs of a broader spectrum of the market.

Has the increased use of cloud services had an impact on WAR take-up?

Absolutely yes. The “smart worker” mentality, technology advancements and the drive for greater productivity are key contributors. However, new risks (especially around cyber and dependencies) and the need to plan for extended invocations is countering that and ensuring that WAR services are still relevant.

Has the rise in home working had an impact?

We haven’t seen an impact due to a rise in home-working, and that becoming the normal way of working. We have seen instances where an organisation’s use of new technology allows for secure home working as an option, and the business believes that this can function as an alternative to a work area recovery solution. In our experience, this is not tested effectively as a viable option in a disaster recovery scenario.

Are customers opting for dedicated or syndicated contracts?

It’s a mix; we see less demand for new larger dedicated requirements due to the market shifts we’ve described. We do still see occasional bids of this type, but business environments are changing across the board, and it plays to our strengths that we can craft a blend between syndicated, dedicated and multi-site use to answer changing customer needs.

What does a typical invocation look like today?

Increasingly it’s an invocation from a cyber-related event or a network issue. The emerging risks that the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) talks about are materialising in the real world now. We currently have three live invocations for cyber threat response. We are seeing invocations of this nature lasting longer than those for more traditional flood, fire responses.

What does the future of WAR look like?

We predict that the use of WAR services in the future will be stable, as the bedrock WAR customers emerge and the market realises that there is a critical need for WAR services for cyber-threat management, such as our Safe Haven service. As a provider, we are increasingly using traditional services in new, innovative ways to meet the changing nature of the threat landscape and to cater for new forms of disruption that can arise on so many levels. For us, this means increased integration of services that we deliver from our wider portfolio, mobile, security, unified communications and managed services, for example. For us, 5G presents opportunities for increasing the reach of our recovery solutions with enhanced security capabilities based around a single device for a seamless experience to reach more of the business than traditional WAR ever could.

“We currently have three live invocations for cyber threat response. We are seeing invocations of this nature lasting longer than those for more traditional flood, fire responses.”

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