You cannot assume that your cloud services will always be available when you need them. In 2016, many cloud service providers experienced outages, including Microsoft Office 365, Google G Suite, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure. Even a short outage can be disruptive to your business, so you should take steps to prepare for one ahead of time.

Here are three ways to prepare for a cloud service outage so that your business stays up and running:

1. Make Sure Employees Have Local Versions of Essential Applications

If any of your essential business applications are in the cloud, you should make sure that employees have local versions of those programs on their computers. Otherwise, they will not be able to use those applications if the associated cloud service goes down.

For example, if your employees do not have a local copy of the cloud-based productivity suite that your company uses, you might consider upgrading the subscription to one that includes this option. Alternatively, you could install an open-source productivity suite (e.g., OpenOffice, LibreOffice) on employees’ computers for use when the cloud service goes down.

2. Keep Local Copies of Important Files

It is important to keep local copies of files that employees need to perform essential job functions. That way, employees will be able to access the files during a cloud service outage.

If your cloud service supports file syncing by default, you’ll already have local copies of your files available. Otherwise, you can periodically download your files from the cloud to a secure location on your local network. That way, you’ll always have access to the most recent versions of all your files.

3. Store Your Resources in More Than One Location

To help protect against service disruption, some cloud service providers give you the option of storing your applications, data, or other resources in multiple locations, which are often referred to as availability regions and zones. If the cloud service goes down in one location, you can use the resources in another location to avoid a disruption.

Now Is the Time to Prepare

At some point, one of your cloud services will likely go down, so it is important to have a plan in place. We can help you determine the best way to deal with an outage so that your business stays up and running.