In 2020, “digital transformation” went from a buzzword to a high-priority business objective in a matter of days.
Almost overnight, IT teams found themselves in charge of implementing, supporting, and securing a spontaneously remote workforce. To add to the challenge, many organizations had to shift the business itself from a physical location to the web to generate revenue.
This sudden shift in the work environment and business model would not have been possible without the cloud. To maintain productivity and business continuity, organizations quickly adopted SaaS solutions, such as Office 365. They moved business-critical files to cloud storage to ensure they remained accessible to those who needed them.
Now that companies have discovered the value and benefits of cloud-based platforms and applications, many have adopted them permanently. But with all of this company-confidential and highly sensitive data being sent and stored in the cloud, IT teams are also turning to the cloud for secure backup and disaster recovery capabilities.
Local Backup vs. Cloud Backup
When it comes to securing data, local backup solutions are a solid choice in many cases. Tape and disk backups are fast and secure, and they provide rapid recovery capabilities. However, on-premises backups are at risk for localized threats, and there are ongoing costs associated with procuring, storing, and maintaining the physical hardware.
The beauty of cloud backup is that it doesn’t require any hardware because the data is copied to an off-site server, which a third party normally manages. Data backed up in the cloud is also easily accessible, and the amount of space allotted to your data can scale quickly to meet your organization’s changing needs.
Why Do IT Teams Need Cloud Backup?
As businesses find their post-pandemic footing, many will continue to utilize cloud services, and solutions to support permanent remote work environments, adopt a hybrid work model, or proactively plan for business continuity.
Cloud backup plays a crucial role in each of these scenarios—and in digital transformation overall—by providing six essential benefits:
1. Cloud backup is flexible.
The cloud is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, and this factor alone makes it a critical component of an effective disaster recovery strategy. The process of restoring systems from your cloud backup can be initiated quickly, regardless of conditions in the region around the physical business, by anyone with the proper permissions.
2. Cloud backup is scalable.
Data generation is currently at an all-time high thanks to the large number of people still working and socializing online. But that could change as the world slowly starts to open back up.
Cloud backup services only charge for the space you use, so if you need to scale up to meet today’s demand, you can cut back again if your load goes down in the future.
3. Cloud backup is reliable.
When your business-critical data and systems are backed up to the cloud, you don’t have to worry that a hurricane, fire, or other localized disasters will wipe them out. Many cloud backup providers also offer monitoring and reporting capabilities, so you can easily track and resolve issues that could affect recovery efforts later on.
4. Cloud backup saves money.
Moving back up to the cloud is an economical way to protect data and offers several ways to reduce costs. There is no hardware to buy, store, and maintain, which is an automatic cost saving. With no on-premises equipment to manage, there is no need to hire expensive full-time workers, eliminating a substantial long-term expense.
And finally, it is easy to budget for cloud backups. Because your contract with the provider for a specific amount of space and certain services, costs are predictable with no hidden surprises at the end of the month.
5. Cloud backup speeds up disaster recovery.
Backing up to the cloud provides peace of mind that your data will be up to date and ready to restore after a security event, unplanned disruption, or other disaster.
There is no waiting until conditions improve to initiate recovery because the cloud is accessible from any location. And because the data backs up automatically after the initial configuration is complete, the most recent copy of your data is always available.
6. Cloud backup is secure.
Data security is a high priority for IT professionals, especially after everything 2020 threw their way. Ransomware attacks are on the rise, distributed teams have increased businesses’ attack surfaces, and cybercriminals target critical infrastructure like healthcare networks in record numbers.
Backing up to the cloud provides extra layers of security by encrypting data before, during, and after transfer. Storing a copy of business-critical data completely separate from the company network ensures it can’t be corrupted by new strains of ransomware that specifically target backup files.
Adding Cloud Backup to Your Disaster Recovery Strategy
Cloud backups aren’t perfect, but in today’s uncertain business environment, backing up to the cloud makes a lot of sense from a security, financial, and business continuity standpoint. Cloud backup should function as part of a larger data protection strategy. Download How to Build a Disaster Recovery Plan to learn how to minimize downtime, eliminate data loss, and protect vital systems and applications during and after a crisis.
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