For most organizations, data loss is one of the most devastating things that can happen. Losing vital company information can result in insurmountable losses, totaling in hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in lost revenue, missed investment dollars, ransom payments, customer departures, and lawsuits.
Businesses and organizations of every size and type rely on the integrity and security of their data. Information is often the most valuable asset we have in today’s world. So, why would we do our best to protect every other resource in our life but neglect the one with the most impact?
Cloud backup solutions are an integral and unquestionable part of modern data backup plans. They provide incredible security, ease of use with automation, a range of added features, and superb, professional support. As time goes on, though, your cloud backup choices only continue to increase. While most prominent cloud backup service providers offer an excellent product and reliable service, it’s important to do your research and make a list of the features and benefits that best fit your company’s needs.
Partnering with a trusted cloud backup provider is one thing you can’t live without. Let’s look at some things to keep in mind when choosing a cloud backup solution for your organization.
Consider Your Data Storage and Recovery Requirements
How much storage do you need? Do you need support for several locations? Do you need the same backup protections and features for all devices across your digital ecosystem? Can you afford any black out time without access to your data? Do you need access to previous file versions in the event of human error?
If so, go for a service that provides complete access to all previous saved versions and provides for every other storage and recovery requirement you have, even if it costs a bit more. It’s worth the investment.
All Devices Need to be Covered
Most organizations have a digital asset network that’s spread across multiple devices and systems. This includes laptops, desktops, phones, NAS devices, multiple servers, additional databases and more.
Make sure the provider you choose can accommodate all device types and that they offer protection across your entire system. Your security is only valuable if every part of your system is covered. Work with your cloud provider to design an individualized plan that fits your organization like a glove.
Overall Security and Privacy
Cloud backup services don’t all offer the same level of protection. You want to make sure they use multiple levels of security, including multi-step verification, top level encryption, and the ability to disable login if you believe a breach has occurred.
Give yourself time to read several reviews from current and previous customers and talk with other business owners about solutions that have worked for them.
Frequency and Automation
With all you have to manage when running a business, you don’t need to be worrying about performing backups on your devices. It’s easy to miss necessary backups, not delegate properly, or rely on a less than organized system to manage your storage needs.
While all cloud storage providers let you essentially run backups at the press of a button, not all of them offer complete automation across your system. It’s best to choose one that allows you to set your backup parameters and then take care of it from then on so you don’t have to.
Be mindful of your available backup schedule options so you aren’t taken off guard in the event of an emergency. Backups need to happen regularly and frequently, not once a week. If you experience a disaster, you could lose a week’s worth of data. In today’s world, that could prove disastrous.
Downtimes and Service Agreements
No backup system is 100% faultless. Even the biggest and best providers experience temporary downtimes where customer data isn’t accessible. Occasionally, hardware needs to be taken offline for a while for maintenance.
Because your data is essential for business, it’s important that your provider gives you clear, easy-to-understand service agreements that state guaranteed minimum data availability percentages, such as 99.9% etc, instructions on what to expect when things are down, and solutions for how to work around these occurrences.
Data Deletion Policy
Surprisingly, most data loss doesn’t happen because of hardware failure, theft, or disasters, but because of human error. Specifically, when someone deletes files that they weren’t supposed to.
Make sure you choose a cloud service provider that makes it impossible for anyone to delete backed up data no matter what. The only time anyone should delete these files is following service cancellation.
Be sure to choose a provider that can grow with your business. If you sign up for small business level support now but need to upgrade to a larger, more robust enterprise plan later on, you shouldn’t have to pay out the nose for it.
You can expect an increase, but the difference shouldn’t be prohibitive. Avoid services that charge significant fees to cover more devices or one that implements limits on the number of users or devices.
Reputation and Support
It may be tempting to go for a newer provider if their prices are lower. It’s best to stick with one that has years of experience, solid reviews, and a long track record of success and satisfied customers.
Read reviews, discuss options with other business owners, and read articles comparing the best options out there.
In addition to their standing in the market, look for those that provide second to none customer support. You want a team of professionals who are readily available, engaged, highly experienced, and respectful.
There are certainly more things to look for when evaluating cloud service providers. You may have specific needs of your own that carry additional requirements.
Cloud backup solutions are one of the best resources you can take advantage of as you solidify your organization’s data storage, security and recovery requirements. Take the time you need to thoroughly research all your options, but don’t go too long without coverage. The safety of your data and the productivity of your organization depend on it.
Tech Masters helps business owners protect their data and increase productivity with industry leading security solutions and comprehensive IT support. Connect with us today to learn more and claim your free business IT assessment.
To learn more about cloud backup solutions, check out our frequently asked questions below.
Do I really need cloud backup? Can’t I just use in-house solutions?
It’s definitely a great idea to back up your data in-house on additional hard drives and machines. However, equipment can fail or fall victim to a local disaster.
Cloud solutions regularly back up your data off site. So, even if something happens at your organization, you’ll always have access to your files.
Do I have to perform backups myself?
One of the best things about cloud backup services is that you can automate everything. You can set the backup schedule that works for your organization and then let your provider do the rest. This way, you can focus on managing your business instead of worrying about remembering to perform backups.
Will I have access to my data 24 hours a day?
Essentially, yes. Occasionally, your service provider will have brief downtimes to address maintenance concerns. However, these should be rare and short-lived. Your data should be available 99.9% of the time.
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