Cloud-based data backups are one of those IT functions that sound kinda simple -- and to the right people with the right skills, they are simple. But for busy small-business owners, they can be quite complex.
So to anyone who falls into that second category of people, here’s what you need to know: There’s a fine line between an event like a storm, flood, or fire causing downtime from which you can easily recover by retrieving cloud data backups, and never recovering.
With the cloud, the first scenario is the norm. Without the cloud, that same storm, flood, or fire can cause endless downtime from all your data being lost and you having to close up shop. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, as it were.
So if you want to avoid the cruel fate of having your critical business data vanish into thin air, you should set up, deploy, and manage a robust, cloud-based data backup plan.
Why the cloud?
The traditional way for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to save data -- both production data and archived data -- is to store their computer files, software apps, media files, and any other digital content onsite, at the office.
The data is kept in some kind of portable physical device -- like backup drives, tapes, or disks -- which can be tedious and time-consuming, to say nothing of its leaving you at the mercy of certain force majeures outside of your control.
Cloud backups solve both problems at once. Automated systems maintained by certified professionals will save everything electronically, and they will be highly regulated and physically redundant. This ensures there are backups of your data backups, and that they’re stored securely and compliantly.
Benefits beyond safety
In addition to significantly increasing the likelihood that your data survives a disaster, cloud backup plans present many other benefits to SMBs. Chief among them is the convenience factor, which we’ve already touched on briefly.
By removing the physical storage media from the equation -- and therefore the need for internal staff to monitor, manage, and maintain them -- you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Your backups are handled automatically, they are accessible from anywhere, and they’re created as data streams in, without the need for users to click “save” as they work.
Safety and convenience are great, but small-business owners tend to balk at such luxuries unless there are clear cost benefits. Thankfully, cloud backups are affordable, too.
They eliminate the expense associated with physical storage media, and allow you to cut back on your capital investment required in software, hardware, and physical “safe-storage” elements; and in the manpower needed to troubleshoot, optimize, and oversee an onsite backup system.
How it works
The first thing that should happen when you consider moving your business from traditional backups to a comprehensive, cloud-based data backup system is a “cloud-readiness” assessment.
When performed by a Managed Services Provider (MSP), such an assessment should look at several things to determine readiness. Charles IT does this by evaluating not only how much data you have, how it is backed up, and how to best migrate it to the cloud, but also how a migration might affect your company.
We’ll conduct a disaster-preparedness assessment to identify where your data might be vulnerable to natural or man-made catastrophes; a maximum downtime assessment to determine the precise amount of suspended operations your company can tolerate; and a business continuity assessment to ensure your cloud-based data backups fit seamlessly into a comprehensive recovery plan.
Setup, deployment, and management
When we say you’ll need to “set up, deploy, and manage a robust, cloud-based data backup plan,” we say it knowing full well it may be beyond the technical abilities and resources that you and your team possess.
Which is why we’ll also mention again the option to partner with a solutions provider like Charles IT. We’ve been saving SMBs from catastrophe with cloud services since 2006, and guaranteeing 100% satisfaction that comes from having an IT infrastructure that’s safe, convenient, and affordable.
That’s what you’ll enjoy from our cloud-based data backup plans, and it’s how you could potentially end up saving your business from disaster.