by Amy Anderson, principal owner at Anderson Technologies
In the past two years, 63 percent of small and medium businesses (SMBs) began using an online or cloud-based backup service.
Clutch, a B2B research firm, recently surveyed 304 SMBs who use cloud-based, online backup solutions to determine how businesses use the technology and what they think about it. Mark Anderson, Principal and IT Strategist for Anderson Technologies, was one of several industry experts to review and provide feedback for Clutch’s publication on the survey’s findings. Specifically, he pointed to three factors that SMBs should consider when selecting a backup solution.
1. Level of Service Offered.
A big name does not automatically equate to big results for your business. SMBs surveyed listed Apple iCloud as the most popular backup solution used at work, followed by Google Drive and Dropbox.
However, despite these services’ popularity, they do not have full-service offerings. They may not meet a business’s more complex backup and recovery needs.
The prevalence of these three services point to companies focused on performing more file-level backups versus “bare-metal” backups. Companies wouldn’t be able to quickly and efficiently recover an entire server this way, and depending on their tolerance for downtime, they should investigate augmenting these offerings with other, more robust options.
2. Capability to Perform Dual-Destination Backups.
Do you want to store data both on-premise and online? If so, make sure your online backup solution can perform dual-destination backups. This setup provides peace of mind in the case of total data loss.
An overwhelming majority of SMBs — nearly 90 percent — already use both online and onsite backup.
In the event of a physical disaster, backing up data to the cloud allows SMBs to get back on their feet quickly.
The ability to perform a dual-destination backup gives clients the option of quick on-premise file restores as well as cloud recovery in the case of complete office loss due to fire, flood, or other natural disasters.
Meanwhile, having the option of on-site backup can assuage fears of the cloud’s potential failures since many businesses remain wary of the technology’s ability to keep data secure.
For years, on-premise was the only option available to businesses. This history is ingrained in IT departments the world over, and the fact that you can physically control the process is very compelling. However, it’s important to consider the cloud option in parallel.
3. Cost Breakdown.
Cost is one of the top three challenges SMBs face when deciding to use a cloud-based, online backup solution as well as one of the top fears that can prevent SMBs from adopting cloud services.
The majority of SMBs spend between $250-$5,000 yearly on their online backup. The top percentage (23%) spend $501-$1,000.
There are three primary factors influencing the price tag for online backup providers:
- The number of systems that need to be protected
- The amount of data being stored indefinitely
- Provision of dual-destination backup
However, the cost of using online backups should be contrasted with an SMB’s ability to provide the same level of service in-house. The security and reliability of top-tier cloud vendors’ state-of-the-art data center infrastructure and the systems they put in place will be far more robust and stringent than what a small to medium-sized business can afford.
While online backup solutions’ accessibility, cost efficiency, and security make them a smart choice for small businesses, it is necessary to consider the array of product choices carefully before selecting a service.
Amy Anderson is a principal owner at Anderson Technologies, a St. Louis based IT company. She started her professional career as a software engineer in the Avionics Laboratory at McDonnell Douglas and later worked for Southwestern Bell, ultimately leading a software project for their largest customer at the time – the state government of Texas. She is passionate about helping small businesses grow and use technology to better serve their customers.