Choosing a Cloud Backup Services Provider? Consider This
Make no mistake: your small to medium-sized business is at risk for cybercrime. Because smaller companies often don’t have the financial resources to spare rebuilding after an attack, it’s estimated that over seventy percent of these businesses will close their doors forever following a data breach. Finding effective backup solutions may be the difference between your business recovering or watching your hard work and dreams disappear in just a few hours. You and your IT department should choose a reliable cloud backup services provider for your company’s best chances at recovering from cybercrime fallout.
What is Cloud Backup?
Cloud services is the hottest trend in IT, with no signs of slowing up. Cloud backup solutions accounts for 62% of current cloud usage closely following on the heels of the 70% of organizations using the cloud for file storage.
Cloud backup stores an organization’s applications and data remotely. With most of today’s critical business data being saved on cloud servers, it’s only natural for companies to choose cloud backup solutions, too.
When you choose cloud backups, you increase your security by not storing your backups on site. These backup files will be available to restore your data immediately, eliminating costly downtime.
You don’t have to store all your files in the cloud. Your internal IT department (or an MSP) can decide what critical files need to be stored.
Questions to Ask Your Cloud Services Provider
Cloud services is the new buzz word, and everyone wants to get in on the action. The truth is that businesses relying on cloud services for backup will only increase and while everyone wants in on the game, not all cloud services backup providers are created equally.
You’ve decided to make the leap, now how do you decide what provider is best for your small to medium-sized business?
Keep a few things in mind to help you choose the best cloud services backup provider for your organization.
What is Your Cloud Services Provider’s Value?
Your business operates on a budget; you may not think you need to spend a little more to secure your files, but it’s the most important IT spend you will ever make.
How much money would your organization lose if your files were lost because of a disaster, human error, or cybercrime? (Use our free downtime calculator to see how much unplanned downtime can cost you).
A cloud services provider will restore your files quickly, getting you “back in business” as soon as possible. Ask your provider:
- How quickly can my data and files be restored?
- Can I increase storage capacity as needed?
- Is there a cap on my storage capability?
- What are the tiers offered, and are charges per gigabyte? Is there an unlimited flat-fee plan?
- What is included in the plan, and more importantly, what is excluded?
Carefully look over your service level agreement and read the fine print before signing anything. The worst time to find out a service is excluded is when you need it.
How Will They Secure Your Files?
There are many cloud services providers, including do-it-yourself “free” platforms like Amazon Web Services. These aren’t without their own security risks, from state-actors to human error.
To be fair, all cloud services are being targeted by the bad guys. Your best bet is to avoid do-it-yourself platforms and choose a cloud services provider to handle the process for you. These providers are better armed against hackers than even the big do-it-yourself companies, like Microsoft and Google, are by themselves. A cloud services provider chooses the best vendor for your small to medium-sized business, then handle everything for you, including wrapping your services up with high-quality security.
Ask your cloud services provider exactly how they will secure your files and data. Look for important key words like “multiple servers,” redundancy, and encryption.
How Quickly Will Your Files Be Restored?
Rapid data restoration is a huge factor in choosing your cloud services provider. When the unthinkable happens, you want your files back as soon as possible; time is money.
The ability of your cloud services provider to restore your data quickly is important, of course, but ask them how frequently the files are backed up to begin with. A provider who doesn’t frequently backup files will not be able to completely restore them. Files need to be backed up daily, if not hourly, to ensure your data and files will be updated for a more complete recovery process.
Think about the work your teams do every day. Can you afford to lose days or even weeks’ worth of that work due to an incomplete backup?
Storage Capacity and Location Are Big Considerations
How much data can you store? Where is the data stored? Does the cloud services provider have direct oversight of their cloud servers?
Choose a cloud backup services provider that has control over how much you store, where your files are stored, and how much you can store. In other words, your cloud services provider should never save your data and forget it. A good provider will never lose sight of your files and where they are. Choosing a provider that has their own cloud servers is the best way to make sure your important files aren’t uploaded and collecting dust on a shelf somewhere.
Note that some cloud storage providers may not have the ability to save multimedia files, such as videos. Make sure your provider can back up all your important data.
Know What You Need from Your Cloud Backup Services Provider
You need a scalable solution that fits your budget, stores all important files, keeps control of your stored data, backs it up consistently, and can restore your files quickly.
Cloud computing is so much more than backups, though. It is a seamless integration of your apps, mobile devices, and storage for increased flexibility in an ever-changing business landscape.
Iconic IT has cloud solutions for every business, and we can work in partnership with your existing IT department to get your business off the ground and in the clouds. Contact us today for a free, no obligation cloud services assessment and let us show you how.