In the complex, ever-changing world of IT, effective backup solutions are the foundation of any successful business. It may not be fun or exciting to think about and plan for a disaster and the loss of company data — in fact, it’s a rather scary scenario for most. But for any business to thrive, it’s vital to plan for any situation that may occur, and that means having a strategy in place in the event of data loss.
Because customer and company data is at the heart of your business’s success, you know that any downtime in retrieving those records — or worse, permanent loss to them — is detrimental. An unforeseen, and unplanned for, disaster, such as a fire, employee error, cyberattack, or power outage, can set your business back months or years.
Oftentimes, especially when it comes to our IT planning, we become complacent when things are working smoothly, and choose not to think about the “what if” scenarios that could cause harm to our systems, processes, or data. But data losses happen, often. And leaving your network, data, and infrastructure vulnerable could bring irreparable damage to your company.
Instead of waiting for a data loss to rob you of precious time and valuable records, plan ahead with effective backup solutions and a thorough disaster recovery plan to protect your business.
Why You Need Backup Solutions
Natural disasters are not uncommon, and they don’t usually give you warning beforehand. Similarly, a bad actor isn’t going to call your business and tell you when they plan to attack. You need to be prepared for any situation in order to prevent your business from suffering profit-crushing downtime.
Fortunately, through strategic planning and disaster recovery processes, you can keep your business and workforce up and running without losing momentum through carefully implemented solutions you and your IT provider agree upon.
And, if you are worried that you don’t have the time or manpower to implement backup solutions, system checks, and recovery plans on your own, a managed services provider (MSP) can step in and stabilize your IT infrastructure and expand your company’s capabilities, freeing up your own time for more lucrative endeavors.
Additionally, one of the many features included with managed IT services is that your MSP will manage your backup monitoring and administration. This is important because even if you already have a backup strategy in place, it may not be running as it should, it could go down unnoticeably without warning, or it could be inadequate.
Effective Methods for Backing Up Your Data
Generally, there are three kinds of backup solutions small-to-medium-sized businesses turn to when looking to protect their data:
- Onsite or local backups
- Cloud storage and solutions
- A hybrid of both cloud storage and local hard drives
Onsite hard drives and local servers have traditionally been the industry norm for backup solutions. In fact, in the not-too-distance past, companies relied on tape for all their backup and storage solutions. These days, however, we have much more efficient, reliable methods, such as hard drives. With a hard drive, you can backup loads of data in a short amount of time and keep it safely with you, ready for use whenever you need it. Unfortunately, considering that natural disasters strike without warning and a flood or fire could destroy that hard drive in seconds, an onsite solution alone may not be enough to protect your company.
Similarly, while cloud storage is effective and useful for email archiving and file storage, organization, and sharing, it is not a comprehensive solution to data breaches and disasters because Software as a Service (SaaS) providers could go down or be breached themselves, can lock companies out through malfunctions, malicious attacks, or human errors, or do not possess backup and restore functionalities at base levels.
Because of the gaps within each of these solutions alone, a hybrid of the two is the most effective method for truly ensuring the safety of your information. By backing up your data both to a cloud option and to a local server or hard drive, you will be able to access your information and recover your data even if one or the other should be attacked or destroyed.
With a hybrid method, you are also creating a redundancy or additional copy of your information. Think of it like making two copies of your mortgage agreement, one for yourself and one for your bank. If your copy is destroyed, the bank still has the information safely stored with them and you can retrieve it again. Storing your company data in multiple places, such as on two separate hard drives plus on a cloud service, you will always be able to retrieve it in the event something happens to one of your solutions.
Backup Solutions and Disaster Recovery
In order to ensure that your business runs as smoothly as possible, you need plans in place for any possible disaster, and that includes a plan for recovering your data in the event of a loss. Once you do have an effective backup solution in place, you’ll need to work with your IT team on a recovery process so that the data is retrieved in a timely manner by a trained professional. After all, you certainly wouldn’t want to suffer a data breach only to find that you aren’t sure how to access your backup solutions!
In this instance, an MSP could be vital to the quick recovery of your company because your provider would manage the recovery process for you, taking the burden off your shoulders and freeing up your team for other important matters.
Your data is the lifeblood of your company. Keep it safe with effective backup solutions and a disaster recovery process that you can trust. And if you need help implementing a new solution or learning your backup options, contact us! We’re here to help you prepare for a disaster and keep your downtime to a minimum should one occur.