If you’re not backing up your business data, drop everything and organize a backup solution right now. An estimated 140,000 hard drives fail in the US each week – without a robust backup strategy, you are putting your critical information at risk.
“In today’s digital world, data is the lifeblood of business, which makes data backup and recovery a must for every organization.” – TechRadar
To help you decide which backup option is right for your business, we’ve analyzed the most popular solutions below.
Cloud backup for business
Cloud-based backup solutions have fast become the mainstream option for businesses of all sizes. In fact, about 50 percent of global enterprises rely on cloud computing of some kind. But, while cloud backup does offer a whole host of benefits, it isn’t without its drawbacks. Let’s jump into the pros and cons.
- Data accessibility. Files stored in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere at any time – whether that be from your home office or an airport halfway across the world. If you or your team travel a lot, or if you have any remote team members, cloud file storage is a must.
- Scalability. When you invest in cloud backup, you only pay for the storage you actually need. If your business grows, adding additional storage is a quick and easy process. Similarly, if you need to scale back, it’s simply a matter of switching plans.
- Potential for cost savings. For small- and medium-sized businesses, a cloud backup service will cost very little. There’s no need to pay for a technician to set up and maintain onsite hardware – you’re essentially outsourcing your backup.
- Disaster recovery. Let’s say your office, and everything inside of it, burns to the ground. If your files are backed up locally, they are gone for good. Cloud backups allow you to store your data in a geographically remote location, protecting it from natural disasters and other catastrophes.
- Security and privacy. Before you upload your business data to the cloud, remember that you’re essentially handing it over to a third-party service provider. Be sure this complies with any data storage regulations that apply to your industry.
- Speed limitations. Uploading and downloading files from the cloud requires a fast, stable internet connection and a fair amount of bandwidth.
- Vulnerability to cyberattacks. No matter how secure the service provider claims to be, if your business data is stored online, it is vulnerable to cyberattacks and costly data breaches.
On-premise backup for business
On-premise backup solutions may be the old-fashioned option, but they still offer their fair share of advantages.
- More cost-effective long-term. While cloud-based backup solutions are generally priced at a monthly or yearly subscription fee, on-premise backups are, for the most part, a one-time cost. Unless you want to add more storage, a physical backup system is often cheaper over the long-term, especially for larger businesses.
- Access without an internet connection. If your internet is down, you can still access your data if it’s stored on-premise.
- Full control. With an on-premise solution, the hardware and software are yours to control. You have the final say when it comes to upgrades, configurations, and system changes.
- Upfront cost. Buying the hardware and paying for set up and installation will require a fairly hefty upfront investment. For small businesses, this capital expenditure isn’t always possible.
- Longer implementation. Not only do on-premise backups require a more significant upfront cost, but they also take longer to implement. Installing the backup software on each server and computer can be extremely time-consuming.
- Maintenance responsibilities. If your on-premise backup system breaks, it’s up to you to fix it.
Hybrid backup for business
Hybrid backup solutions offer the best of both worlds, combining the convenience of cloud-based backup solutions with the security of on-premise systems.
- Data accessibility. Just like with pure cloud backups, hybrid solutions offer quick and easy remote data access, making working on-the-go possible for all team members.
- Access without an internet connection. If your internet drops out, you can still access your data.
- Disaster recovery. If, for some reason, your physical, on-premise backup component is destroyed, the cloud-based backup will still be available.
- Full control. Hybrid backup solutions offer a similar level of personalization and control as on-premise devices do.
- Significant upfront and ongoing cost. If you opt for a hybrid system, you’ll have to fork out the upfront cost for an onsite device, as well as keep up with the ongoing expense of a cloud service.
- Not as scalable as pure cloud solutions. If you want your on-premise backup to upload to the cloud automatically, you won’t enjoy the same level of scalability offered by pure cloud backup solutions.
- Not as secure as on-premise solutions. As we mentioned above, any data stored online is vulnerable.
The bottom line
It’s near impossible to rank these three backup options from best to worst – which is right for your business really depends on your priorities. That being said, if you run a small business with a tight budget, cloud-based backup solutions are probably your best bet.