The cloud’s a savior for business data

The cloud’s a savior for business data

Cloud computing isn’t actually too complicated a concept, and cloud-based data backup sounds sensible enough -- you just save your files and folders on a server living on the Internet, instead of one living in your office.

But for people who own and operate small businesses, and who don’t have much of a technology background or an in-house IT expert to help them, cloud-based data backup can be a bit of a challenge to set up and manage.

If you’re one such business owner, and you’re lukewarm on moving your data to the cloud because of the difficulties you perceive, here’s something to consider: The line between fire, storm, or flood damage to in-office servers inconveniencing you and putting you out of business is a fine one indeed.

Why Cloud Backup?

When businesses don’t back up their files and folders in the cloud, there’s a distinct possibility of a fire, storm, or flood wiping all that data out. That’s because the “old school” way of backing up involves all sorts of in-office hardware that’s susceptible to physical disturbances.

You may be familiar with such hardware. It includes things like portable hard drives, electromagnetic tapes, and optical discs on which your electronic documents, multimedia files, and any other digital content gets stored.

You may also be familiar with just how cumbersome and time-consuming backing up data in this manner can be -- not to mention, again, how vulnerable it is to Mother Nature. Cloud backup, however, is neither tedious nor susceptible to force majeure because it’s managed for you by certified professionals using state-of-the-art equipment in secure data centers.

Benefits Beyond Security

Not only does cloud-based backup dramatically decrease the likelihood of losing data due to a hardware breach, but it also makes things much more convenient for you. When all that physical equipment we mentioned is out of the picture at your office, so too is the time you’d spend deploying it, updating it, and safely storing it.

And, since cloud-based backup plans are usually implemented in conjunction with other cloud applications -- like Microsoft Office 365 or Google Drive -- data gets saved automatically, without the need for users to keep hardware “ready” or to hit “Save” every 30 seconds.

Other than improved security and convenience, there are also some pretty big cost-benefits associated with cloud-based data backup. In other words, not only are the hassles of dealing with the physical equipment eliminated, but the costs of purchasing it and paying someone in-house to manage it are, too.

How To Get There

The first two things we recommend to business owners considering a cloud backup scheme is first do a bit of reading on the broader benefits of the cloud, and then have a cloud-readiness assessment conducted.

When the latter gets handled by a firm like Founders Technology -- we’re a Managed Services Provider (MSP) and data backup expert -- several things will be evaluated to determine whether cloud data backup is right for your organization. We’ll look at how much data you have, how it’s currently backed up, and how to migrate it to an offsite data center with the least disturbance to your daily operations.

Finally, since there’s really no need to fret about lost or stolen data once you’ve moved it to the cloud, your MSP assessment will likely recommend other cloud services to round out a comprehensive cloud computing plan that suits your company’s needs.

Managing a Cloud Backup Plan

As we mentioned, managing and maintaining a cloud-based data backup plan can be challenging. But that’s only when small-business owners are doing it all by themselves.

Fortunately, assessing your situation, migrating your data, and keeping it backed up, secure and properly archived absolutely will not fall on your shoulders when you partner with an MSP or a reputable cloud provider.

So whether you choose a public cloud platform like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, or maintain a private cloud where your business has exclusive access to the off-site servers backing up your data and running your software apps, cloud computing has plenty of benefits for small businesses.