Cyberattacks. Power outages. Fires. Tornadoes. Floods. These occurrences can happen at any time so you and your business need to be prepared. A loss of data or access to data can cripple an organization and even threaten its short- and long-term viability.
Consider the following:
- 93% of companies that lost their data for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy within one year, while 50% of businesses without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy right away. (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
- 70% of small firms that experience a major data loss are out of business within a year. (DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers)
There’s no question that having a disaster recovery plan is vital to the short- and long-term viability of your company because it secures your business data and ensures that your company can continue operating with limited interruption.
Now, you may already have a backup and disaster recovery plan in place. But is it the right plan?
The emergence of cloud technology is changing the data preservation landscape. As a result, here are the Top 6 reasons to have your backup and disaster recovery efforts housed on the cloud:
1. Cloud backup reduces cost
First and foremost, a local or on-premise solution often requires an expensive capital investment upfront. The price of building and maintaining an on-premises backup infrastructure -- purchasing and maintaining redundant servers and acquiring software licensing -- can be costly. On-premise solutions also can have many overlooked costs, such as the time IT teams must invest to actually manage data backups. In addition, plans involving local backups are extremely vulnerable to theft (especially by current and former employees) and floods or other disasters. The cost of data loss can be crippling both financially and from an operational standpoint.
Conversely, cloud backup solutions cost less over the short- and long-term. Moving your data to the cloud eliminates the need for backup servers, drives, disks, tapes, and other hardware and software. This also means that you can say goodbye to the costs of maintaining and repairing hardware, renewing software licenses, and buying disks, tapes and other storage media - not to mention the logistics of getting them off-site.
2. Cloud computing can reduce the odds of security breaches, equipment failures
Many businesses and people are leery of transmitting proprietary data over the Internet. What they don’t realize is that moving their data to the cloud is more secure than if left onsite. Data breaches are rare because cloud storage is protected by “military-grade encryption” algorithms and the odds of your data being lost due to a device breaking are very low.
In addition, multiple levels of controls within the network provide additional continuity and protection. Controls like compliance and security certifications, and multi-factor authentication add another layer of data security.
In addition to security breaches, external devices have a higher failure rate than what you would have thought:
- 77% of businesses with tape backups encountered back-up failures. (Boston Computing Network, Data Loss Statistics)
- 50% of tape backups fail during the recovery phase. (Gartner)
Because of statistics like this, if you really want your data to be secure, you will need to archive it on more than one device -- thus further driving up your backup costs.
3. Cloud technology enhances scalability
Compared to local or on-premise backup solutions, cloud backup offers virtually endless storage. This means enhanced scalability that is effective and cost efficient. As you grow and take on more, your systems grow with you. With cloud backup, you pay-as-you-go. Just contact your provider and simply add cloud resources or user licenses on an as-needed basis. Scaling up takes place behind the scenes.
On the other hand, if you run all or most of your operations locally or on-premises, scaling usually requires buying and deploying new servers. This is costly, labor intensive and time-consuming.
4. Cloud environments reduce the burden on your IT staff
Businesses using on-premise environments for backup and disaster recovery not only incur hardware costs but also must have dedicated IT resources assigned to manage and maintain those systems. With local solutions, backup copies must be up to date -- and this may require larger organizations to dedicate individuals or even entire teams to manage this task. With these additional processes and additional responsibilities, the learning curve for new employees may be lengthened.
But for businesses using the cloud for backup and disaster recovery, their IT staffs aren’t tasked with monitoring and managing on-site systems. Routine maintenance is removed from IT’s responsibilities, freeing them to work on other more critical tasks. Plus, new IT employees enjoy shorter learning curves, which translates into new employees performing value-adding tasks sooner, making attracting and retaining talent and easier proposition.
5. Cloud backup offers better accessibility
Another advantage of cloud backup is improved and instant accessibility to your data. When your data is backed up on the cloud, your information is accessible 24/7 from any location and on any device.
In the past, backup and disaster recovery was confined to on-site issues like power outages, server failures and lost data. Computer files, applications and other digital content were stored onsite using removable storage media — backup tapes, disks, etc.
But what if a natural disaster like a flood occurs and the owner or employees can’t get into their offices where the storage media devices are housed? Can the business even continue operating without access to its data? And if it can’t, how long can it afford to be down before its long-term survival is threatened?
Conversely, the cloud offers businesses a virtual way to store their data. All files and documents are stored on offsite data centers so if a disaster occurs, the data is still available in the cloud. Plus, there are several servers used for cloud storage -- and that practically eliminates situations in which the system can crash.
6. Cloud delivers faster disaster recovery times
When your data is backed up on the cloud, you are able to respond and recover faster when disaster hits -- sometimes in just a few minutes. Often, businesses are able to fully recover just by using the cloud and automation tools. The don’t have to load the server with operating system and application software in order to patch to the previous configuration.
But with a local disaster recovery solution, IT is tasked with scripting, manual administration and intervention, which can take a considerable amount of time and effort. Recovering from a disaster within the cloud also means that organizations don't need to take the time, processing, and cost associated with recovering everything from the cloud to on-premises. That way, recovery can be limited to critical data, further reducing costs.
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