Five ways Cloud Backup shows ROI

Introduction

It can be hard to justify switching from tape with an ‘insurance’ mind-set towards backup, because insurance only shows its value in the event of a disaster. This is not the case with cloud platforms. Using the latest technology, cloud backup solutions provide real tangible benefits and savings. This document explains the different ways in which cloud backup can demonstrate return on investment.

FROM 2013 TO 2020, THE DIGITAL UNIVERSE WILL GROW BY A FACTOR OF TEN, FROM 4.4 TRILLION GIGIBYTES TO 44 TRILLION. IT MORE THAN DOUBLES EVERY YEAR.

Source: IDC Analysis – The Digital Universe of Opportunities

There has been an explosion in data. Each year, the rate of which data is created, consumed and stored surpasses the last. With this growth, organisations have placed more reliance on data for businesses critical operations. Unfortunately, by mischief, misfortune or mistake it is statistically likely you will lose data soon rather than later.

Many companies still use tape based backup solutions, treating backup like they would insurance by opting for the cheapest possible solution. However, businesses today are more complex and dynamic than ever before and cannot afford to think about backup and restoration last.

Critical data needs to be safe, secure, accessible and available. In addition, technology needs to be flexible and scalable. Therefore, the backup and restoration process must be an integral part of your overall business strategy. SICL believe cloud backup is the logical step forward.

Time Saving and Manageability

One of the biggest burdens of tape based solutions is the backup routine. The time spent changing tapes each day then transporting and storing them off-site quickly adds up. More effort is then needed to test backups or restore data. The truth is that the vast majority of restoration requests are for individual files yet they require administrators to sift through whole tapes.

Cloud backup solutions remove this hassle by automating most of the routine. Backup schedules can be set to automatically occur on whichever days and times required. IT Administrators are then free to focus their efforts on other business critical operations.

Security and Reliability

A significant issue with tape based backup solutions is their reliability. The nature of tape means it is prone to corruption through accidental damage or errors during the backup process. As mentioned in the section above, tape solutions require regular validation tests to ensure your data has actually been copied.

Unfortunately, testing is often skipped or forgotten about which further compromises reliability. If tape can only successfully restore your information nine times out of ten but you need your data on that tenth occasion, has tape been a worthwhile investment?

Consider security too. Moving physical tapes around increases the chance of theft, damage or loss. Cloud solutions put these worries to bed. The in-built features of cloud backup validate data as it is being taken. If there is a problem with the data the system automatically attempts to re-take it to prevent corrupt data from being stored.

Cloud backup also provides peace of mind with multiple security standards such as NIST FIPS 140-2 and adheres to the most stringent compliance requirements.

Scalability

In the age of ‘big data’, tape is not fit for purpose. Companies now require more sophisticated strategies for backup in order to remain competitive. As discussed earlier, the cumbersome nature of tape consumes a lot of time, but this problem will grow with the business and its data.

An expanding tape environment also means an ever-increasing cap-ex sum required to replace legacy kit, which could cause cash-flow problems. When this occurs some companies postpone the purchase for a year or two, however this only exacerbates the problems caused by legacy kit. By opting for a cloud solution, replacement costs are no longer a concern as technology is maintained to the highest standards by the cloud provider.

Data grows, but so do companies. It is important to implement technology that can adapt and work with new requirements as your strategy evolves.

43% OF ALL BUSINESSES THAT EXPERIENCE A CATASTROPHIC DATA LOSS NEVER REOPEN, AND 51% SHUT DOWN WITHIN TWO YEARS.

Source: Bloomberg Business Week Magazine

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Mobility

You may be seeing your strategy incorporating more mobile devices. This should come as no surprise, as the penetration of mobile technology has fuelled the adoption of BYOD. Employees themselves are also more mobile and working from home more often. This has led to many organisations offering their staff a choice of mobile device, which has been dubbed “CYOD” (choose your own device).

Looking at the big picture it is clear to see that there are now more devices to backup than ever before. This poses a problem. Desktops are static and fixed to the network. Their usage is predictable, so backup scheduling for them is relatively straight forward. Today however, devices are used in different locations and not always connected to the network. Sometimes they are even switched off altogether to conserve power.

Many tape backup solutions do not support mobile devices, but cloud platforms automatically take data as soon as they are back on and connected. As the company grows, IT Administrators can feel confident that all data is secure, regardless of where it is located.

Financial Savings

On top of security, scalability and mobile device concerns, organisations must manage costs. It is important to understand the true cost of a tape solution is more than just hardware. Consider licenses, replacement tapes, expansion costs as well as the man hours required to maintain the system. It is easy for expenditure to spiral out of control.

Cloud negates some of the expenditure and potential costs. As discussed earlier, IT Administrators get hours of their time back to allocate elsewhere thanks to an automatic backup routine. The solution also intelligently re-takes data it believes to be corrupt, avoiding any potential issues in the event of a restore. It is hard to calculate the true cost of losing critical data which sets projects back or damages your brand image.

The technology within cloud platforms also compresses and de-duplicates data which actually lowers your final bill. By only paying for what you use, with no surprise or hidden costs, an op-ex “pay-as-you-grow” payment model lets IT departments and the business plan ahead with confidence.

Conclusion

The world now runs on data. It affects every aspect of business from sales and marketing to accounts and legal. With this dependence on data it is apparent is that a company’s backup and restoration platform can become either a hindrance or a contributing factor in its success.

For the reasons discussed in this document SICL believes Cloud backup solutions are the latter. With Cloud, the upsurge of data is turned into a strength, as the accessibility, flexibility and scalability enables companies to fully utilise data and fuel business growth.

Due to innovative features built into the platforms and the lack of additional costs, cloud solutions are affordable and manageable. Most importantly, they are secure and reliable. The technology within cloud systems ensures your valuable data is always safeguarded and available when you need it.