It wasn’t all that long ago that backing up files meant adding another blank page and sheet of carbon paper before you started typing. That extra copy would be added to the filing cabinet and voila! Backup done.
Carbon paper has now gone the way of the Walkman and fluorescent workout gear and businesses need to find more sophisticated ways of handling their data.
Along with their staff, businesses recognise that data is their most valuable asset. And yet around 60 percent of small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) still back up their data using direct attached storage. And almost half of those have experienced data loss, some of which was unrecoverable.
Which leads us to ask – why wouldn’t companies put their data into cloud storage?
Along with their staff, businesses recognise that data is their most valuable intangible asset. Why take backup lightly when it carries heavy business value.
Privacy concerns for data
There’s no doubt that privacy is a major concern when it comes to our data. We’ve all heard horror stories about data breaches and their consequences. Most businesses are unprepared for cyber threats. In fact, they may not have factored this into their risk assessment plans at all.
The good news is that the public cloud has gained it’s reputation of being safe and robust than private data storage on-premises. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be mindful of what security infrastructure your service provider has in place. Your provider should address your data security concerns during your data migration process and maintain a high level of communication with your team. Be sure they understand your needs and get the priority right – speed shouldn’t outweigh security.
Despite the security measures undertaken by your business and by your provider, privacy issues will still raise their heads. A data lost prevention plan and business contingency plan should be in place if the worst happens and a breach occurs.
Cost of cloud storage
Many SMEs would be surprised to discover just how much their IT operations cost them. If you have an IT department and in-house data centre, the first step would be to honestly and critically examine these resources to determine the exact costs.
Some factors to consider would be:
- Is your solution scalable to cover future business growth?
- Can your IT staff easily stay up-to-date with evolving technology?
- Will your business need additional data storage in the future, and do you have the physical space for this?
- If a disaster were to hit your business, how quickly, if at all can you recover your data?
There are many considerations about whether moving to a cloud solution would be the best option and this is unique for each business. However, a cloud-based solution could be more cost effective than businesses realise, in both time and money.
If you decide not to go ahead with it right now, make sure you evaluate your options regularly. Issues such as automatic upgrades, data retention and data egress costs, competitor analysis and labour and maintenance costs could mean a change in thinking is required.
Ease of access
Having your IT experts down the corridor or at the end of the phone provides an extremely high level of comfort for many business owners. There may be a belief that if data is in the cloud, access will be limited when in fact the opposite is true.
If you have an internet connection, you have access. Depending on the provider you choose, you can easily retrieve files through a computer or even a smartphone app.
Restoring from cloud backups is extremely simple. Plus, depending on the solution you choose, files can be backed up automatically at your preferred frequency. This should give even the most risk averse CEO peace of mind.
There are too many options
It’s true that there are many providers of cloud-based solutions out there. The process of finding the right-size solution and the right provider can be daunting and time consuming.
Which is why using the services of an IT agency like AUP IT makes the process easy. AUP IT acts as a kind of matchmaker – we’ll evaluate your needs then match you up with the perfect service provider.
To find your perfect match, contact us via phone or email – champagne optional.