Cloud backup has solved some irritating and time-consuming problems for small business. You no longer have to deal with tape backups, and you have simple, automatic, offsite backup.
But that’s really where the simplicity ends.
For the small business owner, trying to discern between the dozens of cloud backup solution options online is daunting – if not impossible.
Cloud backup is an essential element of a modern, small business backup strategy. With an automated backup solution, your employees don’t have to think about backups from day to day.
Before We Talk About Some Things You Should Think About, Let’s Give You A Brief List Of The Top-Contenders In The Small Business Data Backup Game.
- Carbonite Business
- CrashPlan for Small Business
- Backblaze for Business
- SugarSync for Business
- OpenDrive Business Unlimited
- Zoolz Business
- IDrive for Business
Have You Ever Used Cloud Backups?
Let’s talk for a moment about how a cloud backup solution works. It all begins with a company that has a data center. They offer you storage space in their secure data center and provide managed backup from your computers to that storage space for a monthly subscription fee. There are several ways they accomplish this task and various technologies involved, but at the end of the day, you pay for the space that you use and the level of service that you choose. Each company that offers a data storage solution to small business does so in a tiered system allowing you to select a plan that suits your company’s needs.
What Are You Doing For Backups Now? Do You Know About The 3-2-1 Backup Rule?
Data backup is not new. Over the years, the industry has developed a set of best practices to ensure a regimented process that is highly effective. This process can be best summed up in the 3-2-1 rule.
3 – Always make at least two copies of every file that you create or edit.
2 – Use at least two different forms of media – the most common today are portable hard drives, on-site servers, and cloud solutions.
1 – At least one of your storage solutions needs to be a cloud-based solution.
Are All Cloud Backup Solutions for Small Business Created Equal?
Of course not! Cloud backup solutions use a diverse array of:
- Backup Protocols
- Backup Locations
- Backup Frequencies
- Backup Security
- Backup Encryption
Because of this variety of cloud backup service options, it’s helpful for you to consult with a team of IT services professionals such as Servcom USA.
What Should You Take Into Consideration When Looking at Cloud Backup Options?
- You need a solution that protects all the data on every device – personal and corporate – used in your business.
- You need a solution that works with the operating system that you are using within your business. – Windows, Linux, or Mac?
- Your productivity may be limited if you do not adopt a platform that is built to include mobile backups, so check out your potential platforms for compatibility with Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, and Windows 10 Mobile.
- If your small business is running virtual machines – either virtual desktops or servers – you need a backup solution that can handle the backup of these assets.
- You should explore what backup capability already exists in your current business apps. Some applications – such as those in Microsoft Office 365 – have some built-in backup ability.
- Look at the user interface. If the control panel of the backup solution you are considering is complicated and confusing, it’s not the solution for you – no matter how cheap it is.
- Consider their guarantees regarding speed of restoration and levels of restoration.
Check Out Their Security, Compliance, And Reporting Before You Sign Up.
Security, compliance, and reporting are often overlooked when small businesses are shopping for backup solutions. But these are important considerations. Why? Because your customers and any regulators you are responsible to will hold you accountable for any problems resulting from your backup solution choice.
Encryption is one facet of data security. Encryption is something that comes standard with all reputable cloud backup solutions. There are a variety of levels of encryption available, and you should ask whether the data is encrypted in-transit, at rest, or both.
Another consideration when it comes to security is the physical security of the cloud backup solution’s data center. If they have put a lot of work into ensuring your data’s security, they will happily list for you the many physical security features of their data center/s.
A third thing you should keep an eye out for regarding security is geo-redundance. By replicating your backups in several data centers across the country, a cloud backup solution provider ensures that your data is available should one of their data centers be forced to shut down as a result of criminal activity, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or human error.
Legislative or industry standards compliance is a critical element that must be addressed within the backup strategy of many small businesses across the country. The leading cloud backup solutions have gone to great lengths to ensure that their data centers meet compliance standards set in place by legislation such as GLBA or HIPAA.
Reporting is important. Backup reports prove to you, your staff, your investors, and your compliance officers that your backups are taking place as they should and are verifiable.
Some Final Advice
Yes, moving to a cloud data backup solution is the right decision for the small business. Cloud backups can be as secure and efficient as local backups and leverage many more business continuity benefits than local backups.
Hopefully, you’ll never need your backups, but just having them there will give you and your clients peace of mind.
When it comes to backups, failure to plan is planning to fail. So it’s important to get this right.
An IT consultant from Servcom right here in South Carolina can help you sift through all the options and come up with a comprehensive, tailored data backup and IT strategy that works for your business.
Your exact backup needs will be determined by the amount of data you create and utilize within your business and the number of computers, tablets, servers, and smartphones you are running. But let’s add a word of caution. Be careful to choose a backup solution that can scale with your business. It may cost a few more dollars a month now, but getting set up with a backup provider that can serve you now AND well into the future will save you money and hassle down the road.
Want to learn more about Servcom’s IT consultants or how cloud backups can add value to your business? We have more outstanding articles for you HERE.