Data backup has always been one of the most business-critical IT functions. If you can’t recover your data when computers crash or disasters occur, your business may not recover, either. With more people working from home due to the coronavirus, businesses must adopt a heightened sense of urgency about backup operations.
Small to midsized businesses (SMBs) are particularly vulnerable. According to new research from Infrascale, more than 20 percent of SMBs have no data backup or data protection solution in place.
That is an incredibly risky position, particularly now that a good deal of essential company data is residing on employee-owned desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones outside of the office. You certainly can’t assume that employees are taking proper precautions — most never had to worry about backups when they were working in the office, leaving that all up to the company’s IT people.
In fact, many users have never run a backup of any kind. One recent study found that about one-third of all computer users have never made a backup, saying the process is simply too much work. Even those who do perform backups often experience data loss due to accidents or oversight. Many never test their backups to ensure they are working properly.
Without the backup safety net, SMBs may be putting their entire operation at risk. In a 2019 survey by Liquid Web, two-thirds of SMBs reported they would become unprofitable in less than a month after losing access to mission-critical data.
It’s not that SMBs are unconcerned about data protection. More than half of the SMB executives surveyed by Infrascale said security is their biggest data storage challenge, and just under half said they fear data loss from cyberattacks. Although they may understand the risk, SMBs typically feel limited by budget constraints and IT staff shortages. As a result, they often choose to focus on more pressing day-to-day needs, prioritizing backup right out of the picture.
Part of the problem is that backup is more frustrating and problematic than many people imagine. With data growth often outpacing advancements in backup technologies and processes, it can be nearly impossible to complete backups within the available window.
However, SMBs do have some great options for enterprise-grade backup that won’t tax limited IT staff or require much end-user involvement.
Easy Does It
Cloud and hybrid cloud backup solutions simplify backup by shifting much of the heavy lifting to a cloud provider. They are cost-efficient, scalable and eliminate the need for daily backup management.
Pure cloud backup involves copying data directly to a provider’s cloud infrastructure through agents installed locally on company computers and user devices. With hybrid cloud backup, data is copied to an onsite appliance which in turn synchronizes the data to a cloud provider. Either approach allows you to easily restore data in the event of a server crash or some other disaster. Another benefit is that cloud backup options require no capital investment for equipment and make backup an operational cost.
Managed backup is another appealing option. A qualified managed services provider (MSP) with expertise in a variety of backup environments can deliver high levels of stability and predictability. A managed solution may involve either on-premises or cloud backup, or a combination of the two.
Managed backup also provides the peace of mind of knowing that experts are taking a best-practices approach to your data security. An MSP will make certain that data is backed up frequently to meet recovery point objectives and keep potential data loss to an acceptable level. Additionally, data will be encrypted to enhance security and automatically backed up to a secondary site for disaster recovery purposes. Monthly reports help you stay abreast of any potential performance issues.
Data backup is a critical operation, but it is sometimes discounted by organizations with tight budgets and staff limitations. However, SMBs can reduce risk and gain a dependable and cost-effective backup with cloud solutions or a managed backup arrangement. Our team of data storage experts will be happy to walk you through the options that make the most sense for your company.