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As internet prices drop and bandwidths expand, UK businesses are increasingly turning to Cloud computing to streamline business operations, cut IT overheads and free up time for the IT department. Cloud services can offer various benefits to every aspect of a business but one of the most practical and imperative applications is data backup.
Backing up and securing data is critical to a company’s business continuity, disaster recovery and legal compliance but some organisations are still solely relying on dated tape and on-premise solutions. Solutions that fall very short of a Cloud backup offering.
So, for those of you who are yet to evaluate cloud backup, here’s what you are missing out on:
A faster and more reliable solution
Cloud backup enables employees to perform a restore at the touch of a button and depending on the size of the restore, this can take a matter of seconds.
Generally, the moment that an employee realises that they have lost a file or that they need to restore some archived data, is the moment that they need to access it. Therefore, it is not good enough having to wait hours for the correct tape to be located and transported from the off-site archive.
In the event that a disaster such as a fire, flood or any other event should occur that renders a company’s main office out of action, backing up to the Cloud means that data can be easily and quickly restored, minimising the impact on productivity. Again, performing a mass restore in the event of a disaster when everything is backed up to tape is a long, arduous and often problematic process.
Worse still, if a company is simply backing up to on-premise hardware, chances are that it won’t have any sort of disaster recovery plan in place.
Lower overheads and greater flexibility
Cloud backup is often cheaper than on-premise solutions. Cloud enables businesses to avoid the commitment of expensive upfront hardware purchases and lengthy contract tie-ins; providers store data at their own off-site data centres, so businesses only pay for the service rather than the entire solution.
This focus on operational expenditure rather than capital expenditure means that businesses can scale up and down as required, only paying for what they use. In addition, companies implementing Cloud backup are not restricted by the amount of space on their on-premise datacentre, Cloud backup can scale up indefinitely.
Services that backup to the Cloud are also completely automated, performing backups at regular intervals. This removes the need for IT staff to spend time swapping over backup tapes and transporting them off-site or maintaining on-premise hardware and frees up their time to perform more value-add tasks.
It is also important to note that the flexibility of cloud backup extends to implementing a hybrid system, integrating existing on-premise or tape solutions with a Cloud service. This enables businesses to tailor their backup to their specific requirements.
Increased security that ensures compliance
Corporate data can be highly sensitive, containing information about a company’s clients, names and addresses and often financial information. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is very clear about what is expected of organisations when handling this data: the seventh principle of the Data Protection Act states “Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data”. In other words, organisations must have appropriate security in place to prevent the personal data they hold from being accidentally or deliberately compromised.
Traditional backup solutions involve someone physically managing the backup process before storing the data on-premise, or transporting it off-site for disaster recovery purposes. Business leaders utilising these methods need to ask themselves if they are happy bearing the responsibility of handling corporate data whilst off-site, if they trust the people handling the data and, given their current method, what penalties would they incur if data was lost, or worse, stolen.
Any reputable enterprise online backup provider will be compliant with ICO legislation. This means that businesses utilising their services can be confident that their corporate data is being handled within the required security levels as well as relieving themselves of any liability in the very unlikely event that there were to be a data breach.
Leading UK Cloud providers offer a fully encrypted backup service, which requires no need for any onsite backup hardware or software. This also minimises human interaction with the backup process, saving time and eliminating issues around human error or omission. Any data is sent securely to the providers’ data centres which would be based in the UK (and tend to be outside of the M25 orbital risk zone). All data is encrypted before transit and whilst at rest on the providers’ platforms, meaning that only the end user is able to read their data. Any provider worth its salt will also be ISO9001 (Quality Management) and ISO27001 (Information Security Management) certified.
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