In 2017, The Economist made the statement that data had surpassed oil as the world’s most valuable resource. This statement came 11 years after mathematician Clive Humbly said, “Data is the new oil,” and echoed others who have also made comparisons to show just how important and valuable a company’s data is.
Data loss can cost a business operational downtime, lost sales, and unexpected expenses to get the data back. Many data loss incidents are the result of cyberattacks, which can expose your business to other vulnerabilities.
Knowing the value of data, it makes sense to ensure that you and your organization always have access to it—which requires that you not only secure your data but also ensure that it is always accessible. It is important to have a strategy in place that outlines what your IT team or your managed backup services provider will do to back up and restore your data.
Evaluate Your Backup Strategy
If you have ever lost data on your personal computer, you understand just how frustrating it can be. You can instantly lose pictures, documents, music, and other files that are important to you. Imagine that scenario happening to the data your business relies on. If it were gone, how would your business operate? What impact would it have?
Your backup strategy should state how often data is backed up and where it is backed up. Yet most organizations fail to realize that data backup is only part of the plan. Business continuity is the ultimate goal for any small business in Boston or elsewhere. Your organization’s strategy needs to outline how data is restored, who is responsible for certain tasks related to continuity, and how frequently you test your solution.
Compare In-House Backup vs. Managed Backup Services
Small businesses in Boston may be unaware that there are service providers that can help them run a business continuity strategy that rivals those of larger organizations. Managed backup services providers are able to assist with standard backup and recovery services, securing for data at rest and in transit, data archiving, logs, reports, and even handle server data for Exchange and other databases.
The right partner will provide 24/7 file restoration if things go wrong, help you choose the best vendor for off-site data storage, and assist with your planning so that you are able to keep backup costs within your budget.
Compare these provider services to your IT staff’s current capacity and expertise. Although they may understand the importance of business continuity and they may know how to set up a backup and recovery solution, you need to evaluate whether the members of your IT team have time to be experts in this area. IT teams that service small businesses are often excellent at helping businesses grow, but they may lack the skills and experience that a managed services partner provides. In contrast, a managed services provider has employees who specialize in different areas of technology—including data backup and recovery—so they can help you with the best solution for your business.
Choose the Right Managed Backup Service Provider
Your managed backup services provider needs to be a partner, one you can count on to help protect your business from downtime or data loss. When choosing the right partner to trust with your company’s data and business continuity, look for managed services provider with the following qualities:
- Accountability – Any managed backup services provider should provide you with a service-level agreement that meets your needs. They need to ensure your data is back online in the time you both agree on.
- Continual support – You should not have to call your managed services provider and request that they start restoring data after an event. Your provider should be monitoring your data around the clock to proactively look for anomalies or issues and rapidly respond to them.
- Updated skills – The world of data is constantly changing, New regulations, new technologies, and new practices emerge constantly. Your partner should be committed to training their employees to stay on top of technology changes so they have the ability to protect you and your data. Make sure their staff is certified in the areas important to your business and that they constantly undergo training.
Turning to a managed backup services provider puts one of your most valuable resources in the hands of experts dedicated to ensuring that your data is secure and accessible to the people who need and use it. Some businesses find out just how important it is to have a team of experienced people handling their business continuity when it’s too late. Don’t let your business become another statistic or tale of caution; look for a managed services partner that can provide you with the peace of mind that your data is safe and accessible.