More businesses are going to the cloud to back up their data – in fact, the entire cloud market could be worth $150 billion by 2014, according to the information technology research company Gartner. With this increased use of cloud services comes a renewed emphasis on better data backup practices.
Backup, you say? Do we need to do that anymore? Yes, you most surely do. As individuals, we back up our important data to image folders, music sites, storage servers and more. But for small businesses to major corporations, it’s a whole other world of data backup and storage in the cloud. Losing critical data can halt a company’s entire business. If data gets lost, it may be lost forever. There are processes for data retrieval, but these can’t always restore data back 100 percent – the retrieval process itself can corrupt data, making backup vital in any-sized operation.
Any layman’s guide to cloud storage can lay out its benefits, but if you’re still not on board, consider this: In Vanson Bourne’s survey of 650 IT decision-makers across the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and the Netherlands, 25 percent admitted to not telling their chief executives they don’t back up all files. Another 38 percent worry whether their firms’ data was being saved securely or backed up at all.
As businesses increasingly move to online backup, the cloud services industry has responded by increasing support, developing mobile apps to back up data on the go and providing forums to discuss the different processes and steps to consider. For business and large corporations, you’ll see why companies should not be cavalier about data backup integrity.
World Backup Day
Yes, now the matter even has its own “holiday,” so to speak: World Backup Day is on March 31. Aimed at raising awareness among companies and individuals of the importance of data backup, World Backup Day is especially geared to businesses considering taking their data backup needs to the cloud. Check out the World Backup Day Facebook page to have a little fun in this arena, too – there are photos you can download to encourage officemates and a data backup game to play.
Tips for Backup and Storage
Small Business Computing offers these timely tips for data backup and storage:
Know your options in storage drives. Cost, capacity and speed of access are the three key components of storage. The storage drive options are:
- Hard disk drives (HDDs): Varying speeds and capacities. The more expensive drives hold less data.
- Solid-state drives (SSDs): These drives use memory technology to store data. Far better performance than HDDs, but more expensive.
- Hybrid storage systems: Hybrid storage systems combine HDDs and SSDs balance of price and performance. Most of the data is stored on low-cost hard drives.
Know the fundamentals of your data. Companies need to take a hard look at their data and ask what would happen if they lost crucial data. Consider:
- Financial data: If your business takes online payments, transacts credit cards and sells a variety of goods and services, then losing purchasing data that keeps track of revenues and payments could be disastrous.
- Proprietary software: If your business has developed any singular piece of software which would be lost without data backup, you should definitely look into storing this data on several server clouds for backup needs.
- Customer information: Where would you be without the customer data you’ve acquired in the history of doing business? Top-buying customers? Discount information? Marketing processes and more? With a data backup failure, all this could be lost.
Small business should consider using a professional IT data backup service that’s more reliable and secure than you can usually achieve in-house. Reducing the in-house manpower required to deal with automated backup can take an additional stress off management, and many prefer to pay a monthly retainer to top online data backup firms like Carbonite, Crashplan, Mozy and Zetta than it is to manage internally.
From large enterprises to small businesses, data backup is an important consideration. Being careful with company data and data backup in the cloud can be among the most important decisions for thriving enterprises.