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How to Select the Right Data Backup Solution for Your Business

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

Backing up data is one of those things that we all understand we should be doing, but just can't be bothered to do until it's too late. If you dilly-dally on backing up personal data, you run the risk of losing irreplaceable pictures and expensive media files in a catastrophic hard drive failure. If you fail to back up your critical files at work, however, you run the risk of tanking your entire business or even exposing yourself to legal liability.

It simply isn't worth the risk.

The digital revolution made storing and transferring information much easier, but it also made our information less secure. The most important documents and figures in our global business community no longer exist in hard copy, they exist in long chains of zeros and ones that can evaporate into thin air thanks to one misplaced refrigerator magnet or spilled cup of coffee.

Do yourself and your clients a favor: consider which of these data back-up solutions is the right one for your business and institute backup protocols today.

The size of your business is the most important factor in determining which data backup solution will be the most effective. Smaller businesses simply don't have the same archiving needs that larger businesses do. So many small businesses lose money by overinvesting in backup infrastructure. Figure out whether you are a small, mid-market or large business and move on to the next step.

Small businesses don't generally have their own IT staff. They may not even have a single IT person. Most small companies outsource their information technology work to third-party professionals and firms. This arrangement makes sense. Think about it: does your local florist really need a full-time IT employee? Probably not. If this is you, then you should probably invest in a cloud-based service.

Cloud services charge a monthly fee to store your data remotely and require little to no upkeep on your end. They rank among the easiest online data backup systems. All of your business' data will be automatically duplicated in the cloud and there it will remain, easily retrievable in the event of a loss.

If your business employs upwards of 50 people and handles a large amount of data, you may want to invest in an on-site storage appliance. Businesses of this size tend to have at least one full-time IT staffer who can interface with the technology. Most appliances like external hard drives are pretty user-friendly and won't consume all of your IT staffer's time. Purchasing one for your data backup will also allow you to maintain direct control over sensitive information.

The complexity of large businesses requires a third solution. If you run a large company with the capital to spend on technology and infrastructure, the best solution is to invest in your own dynamic backup system. This system will allow you to control all aspects of your data storage on-site, but it will also require the time of a dedicated IT staff. Unless you have the human resources to adequately maintain such a complex system, the investment won't be worthwhile.

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