Most of us understand that protecting our data is important. But do we fully grasp just how imperative it is for every part of our business? Data security and recovery is a key foundation stone for our organization. So many companies today live or die on the strength of their data management. Information governs our products and services, our interactions with customers, our communication with partners, collaborators, and investors, and it keeps our systems moving smoothly and accurately so we can focus on the rest of our business.
Instances of data theft affecting business operations continue to rise each year, and the figures are staggering. Research by Norton released in 2021 revealed that there are over 2200 cyber attacks occurring every day. That’s an average of one every 39 seconds! Data breaches lead to theft, coercion, corruption of important files, poor customer relations, and a lot of money down the tube.
Besides attacks, data is also vulnerable in other ways. Namely outdated or failing hardware, spills, breaks, accidents, sabotage by disgruntled employees, and natural disasters like earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and more. A natural disaster, along with any of these, can damage external drives, network machines and other vital hardware containing your organization’s most important digital assets.
It’s not simply about enough storage space anymore. The digital end of business is far too complex to leave unmanaged and unprotected. If you don’t have a comprehensive data backup plan in place, one with multiple layers of protection and redundancy, your company and your income are at risk.
With data security and backup being such a fast-growing industry, there are countless options to choose from, with a range of features catering to every need. With so many choices, it may seem like a daunting task to decide. But it doesn’t have to be. We’re going to narrow it down today to 3 important things to consider when choosing the right data backup solution. Read on to learn how you can narrow your options and get the right protection in place for your business.
The flexibility of your data backup solution is a top consideration when making your choice. You want solutions that seamlessly integrate with your current infrastructure while remaining adaptable and scalable to continued change, as your technology and data ecosystem expand.
A key to any successful organization is adaptability. You never want to find yourself stalled out, unable to implement new strategies and innovations quickly because your backup system isn’t adaptable to the changing needs of your business. Your technology should feed your productivity and success; it should never hinder it.
Another aspect of flexibility is the range of features available to you within that particular solution. It’s important to figure out what features are going to make the difference for you. Everything from the ease and intuitiveness of the user interface to things like your security during file sharing, the speed of data recovery, range of additional applications and their support, compliance, reporting, and general customer service, all these and more can govern your decision.
Overall, you want a system that integrates well with your current environment, grows with it as you grow, offers a variety of features, is easy to navigate, provides complete protection and rapid recovery, perhaps even unlimited storage, and a product that is managed by a team that always has your back.
Cost is often a consideration, especially for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). However, it’s important to remember that choosing a lower quality solution just to save a little money is going to cost you more in the long run. You’ll be dealing with access issues, breakdowns, and poor customer support, among other problems. This can lead to inaccessibility, inflexibility during expansion phases, and lagging productivity.
When determining your budget, don’t rely on estimates or an average cost for services with your cloud backup solution. Make sure you gain a clear understanding of every detail of the pricing structure. You need to understand your ongoing cost burden and exactly what this fee offers, so there are no surprises. Find out how price figures into added apps or future developments, and make sure you have a good handle on any maintenance or data storage fees associated with your backup solution.
Remember, though, never sacrifice support and security just to save a few dollars. It will cost you way too much down the road. Get the right backup in place early on and you’ll be able to breathe easy.
Choose solutions that leverage automation over manual processes. You don’t want to be wasting time with mundane tasks to keep your backup plan going. The best solutions, especially cloud storage services, utilize automated processes to streamline your backup and workflow, so you barely have to think about it.
Automation eliminates the risk of human error during backup activities as well. As surprising as it may sound, a lot of companies lose data to basic human mistakes, unsaved changes, website updates that don’t save properly, or failed attempts at backup. Automating these functions removes the worry and risk of human error and supports you with regular, incremental backups.
Quality cloud backups use different forms of artificial intelligence that “learn” your unique ecosystem, information habits, and backup needs, which enables your backup solution to provide even more individualized support
Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Backup Solution
Without going into detail for each of these, some additional key factors that figure into your choice include the following:
Complete protection for your data during any process, whether it’s at rest or in transit, is a must. You want to make sure you have the same level of protection on all file types, storage devices, and more.
Get to know their disaster recovery plan and their complete backup strategy. Top tier services should include options for complete protection across all devices and connections, computers, external drives, mobile devices, and other locations.
It should also boast a comprehensive backup and restoration strategy, breezy automation for daily operations, continuous backup, even unlimited storage. There are several that also offer complete cloning of specific systems, using various technologies like Machine Images and other methods to mirror a physical machine as a digital one, then sync it with a time frame.
This means your service can back up a complete system on a specified machine/computer, including all files, apps, and operating systems, then restore it entirely to the way it was at the moment of disaster or loss. All of this ensures seamless business continuity.
User-Friendly Interface and Dashboard
It may seem like an afterthought but it’s no small thing.You want products and services that are clear, organized, easily navigated, make sense for anyone and comfortable to work with.
Most business owners today want a hybrid solution that uses a variety of backup locations, combining both in-house hardware like external drives and other storage devices, along with a cloud storage service. And they are safer for it. When you have your files and programs protected on multiple backup sources, with both cloud providers and on physical hard drives and systems, it ensures you’ll never lose your most important data.
Physical formats on-site, like external drives and other machines, can, of course, break down or suffer damage. And while cloud outages are rare, they do happen. Keeping both in place makes sure you always have access to your data.
Though we hinted at this above, it’s important to mention again. Make sure you choose products and services with complete support 24 hours a day and a track record of excellent service. You don’t want your business to suffer because of inexperienced people or unanswered calls and emails.
There are other factors to consider when comparing cloud storage providers, but this should give you the framework you need to narrow down your choice.
Data backup and recovery is not only wise but one of the most important things you’ll ever put in place for your company. It keeps your digital assets safe, your business running smoothly, your media accessible, and your customers happy.
Choose quality over price to avoid inflexibility and problems later and make sure your solution has comprehensive customer support to deal with any issues that may arise.
Lastly, consider partnering with an experienced IT and data service provider who can help you create the perfect data backup solution and provide you with top-notch support and ongoing guidance for all your tech and information needs.
Tech Masters helps business owners protect their most important assets by creating individualized data backup solutions for every organization. Contact us today to learn more and to get your free business IT assessment.
For more information about data backup protection, see our frequently asked questions and answers below.
Why is data backup so important?
Protecting your data means protecting business continuity and growth, strong, and running smoothly. Data theft, accidents, natural disasters, or human error, these can destroy key information vital to your business, your customers, and your income.
I back up my data on external drives; do I really need additional protection?
The best protection comes when you combine physical, on-site backup solutions like external drives and other computers with off-site cloud-based solutions. This ensures that you not only have multiple backups but remain protected no matter what surprise, mistake, disaster, or breakdown occurs. The best plans incorporate different forms of backup.
Do I need to choose and manage everything myself?
Definitely not! One of the smartest things you can do is work with a trusted IT service provider who can deep-dive into your business’s data backup needs and create an individually tailored plan to cover everything. They’ll be able to adapt your solution to your changing needs as you grow and provide constant service support whenever needs or concerns arise.
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