“Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.”

The words above by Franz Kafka, one of the major fiction writers of the 20th century, hold true today when it comes to business continuity for small business. The good news is that having a business continuity strategy does not need to be overly complicated especially for small business. Here are three key concepts you need to know to get started.

1) Backup

Backup your files and data to the cloud, simply and affordably. Get enterprise-grade data protection for less than the cost of two cups of Grande Cafe Mocha at Starbucks. Scale your investment up or down as needed knowing you’ll only pay for what you use. Azure Backup is a simple and cost-effective backup-as-a-service solution that delivers protection for customers’ data no matter where it resides. Along with Azure Site Recovery, Azure Backup offers minimal maintenance and consistent tools for offsite backups and operational recovery.

What our customers use: SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Azure Backup

2) Replicate

Protect important data and applications by coordinating the replication to your own data center, hosting provider, or another secondary location. Simplify the complexity of building and managing your own secondary location with automated solutions.

What our customers use: Azure Site Recovery

3) Recover

In the event of an outage (natural disaster, lost or stolen devices, cyberattack) at your primary datacenter, recover in an orchestrated fashion to get back up and running quickly. Recovery plans can range from simple to complex and we’re here to help.

What our customers use: Azure Site Recovery

Why have a Business Continuity Plan?

Downtime and lost data from unexpected events like fire, flood, a lost laptop, or worse, a break-in, can devastate a business. Take a cue from a civil engineering firm who used cloud technology to ensure their business can recover quickly.

First, to protect important project data and engineering applications on servers at the main office, the firm deploys an automated disaster recovery solution quickly and without major capital expense using Azure Site Recovery. When the servers at the main office are damaged in a fire, all their latest data and applications are ready to go in the cloud, and the business is back up and running in minutes.

Second, the firm’s administrative staff, who work at home part of the time, are always able to access their latest files from any device with OneDrive for Business. So if they come into work and accidentally leave their laptop at home, they can easily access their files from another PC at work—and then all of their changes will automatically sync back to their laptop at home.

Lastly, when an engineer traveling from a client site loses his laptop at the airport, the firm has confidence that the data is encrypted with Windows BitLocker. So if someone finds the laptop, he can’t access any sensitive company information. The office manager then remotely wipes data from the lost device with easy-to-use tools in Microsoft Intune, a part of Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). The employee is then able to automatically sync her data, settings, and apps to a new Windows device to get back up and running fast.