In today’s information-based economy, businesses that succeed know that their most valuable resource isn’t their inventory, it’s their data. Despite this, 58% of small businesses are not prepared for a data loss. With the physical loss of devices or media containing data costing North American businesses $2.8 million in 2017, secure backup solutions are not simply helpful, they are a necessity.
While backing up large amounts of data has been a challenge for smaller, growing businesses in the past, cloud-based solutions bring data recovery within the reach of any business. And it’s not just for those who can’t store their data onsite. There are many reasons why 89% of IT leaders plan to implement more cloud-based disaster recovery in the near future, but here are five of the biggest benefits.
Benefit #1: Cloud backup is automatic.
It’s recommended that businesses back up their most important files on a daily basis and periodically test that the backup is actually working. Despite this, fewer than half of businesses who do have some sort of data backup protocols in place follow this guideline. (And that doesn’t include all the businesses that have no plan in place for data recovery at all.) What’s stopping them? Lack of time and disruption to the workday. The idea of asking employees to interrupt what they are doing every single day in order to back up data that might never be recovered just doesn’t look like an efficient use of their time.
What’s the solution? Cloud-based backup systems allow for the day-to-day process of backing up your data to be largely automated, freeing employees to focus on what they do best. This also eliminates the need to train an ever-expanding number of employees on how to back up different kinds of files correctly, and check up on them to ensure that guidelines are being followed and errors avoided.
Benefit #2: Cloud backup reduces downtime.
Downtime, no matter what the cause, can break a business. Going for days without access to key files not only leads to slowing or even stoppage to business, impacting productivity in a huge way, it can also lead to a business’s reputation taking a hit among current and potential customers. The difference between apologizing for an hour of delay and a week-long delay can mean the difference between a profitable year and a year of hemorrhaging customers to competitors who can meet deadlines.
When all of your data is stored in the cloud, there’s no need to run around looking for all the physical storage spaces for this and that piece of information. And when the recovery process is built in and testable at any time, you can know in advance exactly what it would take for you to get everything back up and running in the event of data loss.
Benefit #3: Cloud backup is securely off-site.
Nobody wants to think of their place of business as an unsafe location, but when reading the news about hurricanes in Texas, flooding in Missouri, and wildfires in Oregon, it’s impossible to ignore that disaster can strike anywhere.
While nobody can predict where or when issues leading to data loss will occur, it’s a sensible precaution to keep backup data in a location physically isolated from the location where the data is normally stored. That way, no matter how severe the loss on a local level, backup data remains safe and secure. According to FEMA, more than 40% of businesses never recover from a natural disaster. Cloud backup can help make sure that your business doesn’t become another statistic.
Benefit #4: You can access your backed-up data from anywhere.
Supposing disaster does strike, what happens then? Evacuations can leave employees scattered across the country. Even with a highly localized emergency, like a building fire or cyber-attack, you need to be able to access your data quickly without being onsite. With cloud-based backup systems, you can restore lost data from wherever you are in the world. It doesn’t matter that you’re in a hotel in Stockholm while your damaged systems are in Hoboken. If you back up your data in the cloud and have access to the internet, you can access the information you need to get your business up and running again.
Benefit #5: Cloud backup grows with you.
Some small startups prefer to host their own backup servers onsite in order to save money. And it’s true that DIY methods can be cheaper in the short term, provided you’ve got the time and the know-how to attend to them. But the purpose of a small business isn’t to stay small forever; growth is always part of the plan.
This is where things can get tricky with exclusively onsite solutions. An expanding business produces more data, requiring more servers, the physical space to store them in, climate controls to maintain them, human resources to manage them, and systems to keep them secure. When trying to find a balance between growth and risk, that kind of spending isn’t always responsible. Cloud backups, on the other hand, scale up effortlessly alongside your business, leaving you free to worry about the core of your business, not storage solutions.
Planning for data loss isn’t paranoia, it’s good business.
Good leaders don’t just lead when things are going well, they know how to move forward in the face of setbacks. Data loss can be disastrous, but it doesn’t have to be. Are you thinking about how to improve or implement your own data backup systems with cloud-based solutions? Western Computer can help you with that. Don’t wait until disaster strikes to protect what you’ve worked so hard to build.
About the AuthorMore Content by Maher Malki