Backup deal breakers
An 8-step guide to finding the right partner
No matter what business you’re in, you know that today your files and data are your most valuable assets. In fact, the intellectual property (IP) contained in all those files make up around 80 percent of the typical business’ value.1 That value needs solid protection, but choosing a data backup partner is a big commitment. Just like finding a partner in life, it’s critical to look closely at the finer details of a potential backup solution. Things may look great on the surface—but it’s the nitty-gritty details you often overlook that can lead to big problems down the road.
This quick guide gives you 8 essential qualities to look for in a backup solution. Consider it your cheat sheet for backup “speed dating”: what to look for—and what to watch out for.
Deal breaker #1
Does it backup to the cloud?
Data protection and security experts now agree that the cloud is the best option for secure data storage. Unlike hardware- based storage (hard drives, external drives, on-premises servers), automatic cloud backup features multiple redundancies so you’re never vulnerable to a disaster or technology failure. Automatic cloud backup also offers the most advanced security tools, thanks to real-time updates that include the latest security patches and new security features.
Happily-ever-after outcome: True disaster protection and the very latest security features.
By 2020, 4 in 5 small businesses will use automated cloud backup.2
Deal breaker #2
Is it automatic?
Instead of relying on your employees to manually save files to a central location for backup (network drive, server, etc.), leading business backup solutions now automatically, silently and continuously backup files. You’re not vulnerable to employees forgetting to backup—and you aren’t burdening your employees with the constant, productivity-draining task of manual backup.
Happily-ever-after outcome: Employees work uninterrupted and with the peace of mind of constant protection.
Deal breaker #3
Does it backup from the source (laptop/desktop) – no matter where employees are located?
About 60 percent of your business’ files and data live exclusively on your employees’ desktops and laptops.4 “Automatic” backup needs to pull files directly from these endpoint devices, capturing all their daily productivity and work-in-progress files— not just the “ finished product” that gets saved and shared on the server. Automatic cloud backup services go a step further, pulling files directly from laptops, anytime, anywhere. This means you can free your employees to work remotely, knowing their work is always protected.
Happily-ever-after outcome: Protect all productivity and value.
“Employees tend to save stuff locally first, and then put it on the server once it’s in a final form. But nothing protects those in-progress files that represent hours or work—and can easily be lost if their laptop is lost, stolen or corrupted.”
– Michael Luehr, IT Consultant at 7 Layer IT Solutions, Inc.
Deal breaker #4
Can it backup both Windows and Mac devices?
Macs continue to infiltrate the business world, and more companies are letting employees choose their own devices. But most business backup products were built specifically for Windows—forcing you to either juggle two backup products, or risk files falling through the gaps if you use a Windows product to cover your Mac devices. “Platform-agnostic” backup solutions solve this problem, giving you complete coverage for Mac and Windows from a single, simple product.
Happily-ever-after outcome: Backup every device from one platform.
Deal breaker #5
Is backup storage unlimited?
All backup used to have limits (there’s only so much room in a physical hard drive or on-premises server), so you had to spend time carefully choosing which valuable files were worthy of backup. But files can become incredibly important at unexpected times—even years down the road. And picking just one version of a file leaves too much room for error. Today, the efficiencies of cloud storage make unlimited cloud backup a cost-effective reality for businesses of all sizes. You don’t have to spend time classifying les and data—and you don’t have to worry that files are getting left out or are no longer available.
Happily-ever-after outcome: Backup every version of every file – forever.
Cloud sharing ≠ automatic cloud backup
Cloud sharing apps like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive are great for sharing and collaboration, but have inherent flaws when used in place of real automatic cloud backup:
- Not automatic: Employees must manually share files to the cloud.
- Not comprehensive: Employees only share “finished” files – not all their work-in-progress files.
- Mistakes multiply: Automatic file syncing makes one employee’s mistake everyone’s problem.
- Malware and ransomware spreads: Infected files are synced and spread quickly.
- Slow restores: Typically limited to painfully slow, multi-step restores.
Deal breaker #6
Do the security features meet your compliance requirements?
Business backup often plays a critical role in meeting compliance requirements—whether it’s PCI, HIPAA, GDPR, GLBA, SEC or another standard. Leading backup solutions offer security features tailored to meet these compliance requirements, including advanced encryption for data in transit and in storage, robust access control, and the ability to keep backups for the required period of time.
Happily-ever-after outcome: Worry-free data security compliance.
Deal breaker #7
Is it easy to deploy and maintain?
The “IT Team” in most small businesses is one person, juggling all IT plus their “day job” responsibilities. They can’t afford to spend hours every week managing a backup product. Best-in-class backup solutions leverage the advantages of the cloud to deliver low-maintenance backup: Initial deployment takes an hour instead of days—and adding new users takes just a few clicks. Dashboards make it easy to see your backups are working. Simplified restore work flows even allow employees to do self-service restores. And because the solution lives in the cloud, all the technology maintenance is handled by your provider.
Happily-ever-after outcome: Less time worrying about backup; more time for your core responsibilities.
Deal breaker #8
Is it built for the fastest recovery?
All the other fancy backup features are worthless if you can’t restore files quickly when you need them—and time is often critical in file-loss situations. Leading backup solutions are purpose-built using sophisticated data storage to restore files up to nine times faster. Intuitive folder structure and search capabilities make it easy to and the file(s) you need. And point-in-time restores let you roll an entire laptop (or all an employee’s files) back to the moment before an incident occurred.
Happily-ever-after outcome: You and your employees get back to business – sooner.
“We love OneDrive for sharing data. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t protect the entire computer or all our files.”
– Michael Luehr, IT Consultant 7 Layer IT Solutions
Tackling Your Biggest Challenges Together
Like the perfect partner in life, a great data backup partner will work with you to meet your biggest business goals—protecting your most valuable information, freeing your employees to work productively, taking the administrative burden off your shoulders, and ensuring your employees and your business can always bounce back quickly, no matter what happens.
3. Egress Software Technologies 2016