Choosing a backup and disaster recovery service is one challenge that no organisation can escape. With rising cyber security concerns, legal compliance requirements tightening and the continuously growing volumes of data, traditional tape methods of backup are struggling to keep up. Today, more reliable and cost-effective solutions are taking the forefront of backup and disaster recovery strategy planning.
When choosing a data backup service, consider these 7 points:
1) Reliability of reputation – Look for a provider with a proven history of high service quality. Nobody wants to trust their data to just anyone. Ask for case studies, customer references and even speak with some members of the existing customer base to really understand your chosen vendor’s reputation and the quality of service they deliver.
2) System flexibility- No two organisations are exactly the same and as such each have their own data backup requirements. Whether you have servers, laptops, PCs email archives or a virtual environment, choose a service provide who can create a solution which will fit your exacting business needs and have the capabilities to scale with you as you grow.
3) Security – Data security is a growing concern for all organisations with financial and brand reputations at stake. Understanding exactly how your service provider is equipped to secure your organisation’s data is an essential consideration. Additionally, outline the compliance requirements of your organisation and/or industry and compare the products and services offered by various backup vendors to understand how each could enable you to satisfy regulation compliance.
4) Accessibility – In a time of disaster organisations need almost instantaneous access to their data or risk loosing thousands in lost time. Traditional tape methods limit the direct access companies have to their backups and can severely delay restore times. Work with your chosen data backup service provider to create a backup and disaster recovery strategy that works with your established Recovery Time Objectives and Recovery Point Objectives. A service provider who cannot deliver on these outlined time frames will seriously hamper your ability to recover from a disaster and impede essential business continuity requirements, potentially causing lasting financial damage.
5) Cost-Effectiveness – Calculate the true cost of each data backup method and forecast any pricing changes that might occur should your organisation and data volumes grow. Include not just the basic costs for the products or services but also the time and resource required for the implementation, management and maintenance of the solution over an extended period of time. Tape backups can result in a substantial number of hours lost each week to performing tedious administrative tasks. Cloud based solutions can incur radical price jumps as the volume of data stored grows. Evaluate how your chosen solution or service will impact your budget spend for the year ahead but also the decade ahead as your business grows and changes.
6) Ease of Use - A solution or service which is overly complicated to implement and then run is often one that will consume the available time and resource of your IT teams. Similarly, not knowing what backups have been performed as required or not having an awareness of any potential problems can have devastating effects on your business. When choosing a data backup service provider, consider the level of control you will have over your backups and the level of insights you will have on performance.
7) Customer Support – There is no telling when something could go wrong. So knowing what level of support you’ll receive from your backup service provider when you need them most is essential. Can they be reached by phone or just email? Do they keep 9-5 hours or in your time of need will they be available for support 24/7?
Choosing a data backup service provider can be a difficult task and not one to be taken lightly. Nor is it something that anyone wants to go through more than once, so making the right choice the first time around is important. Bear these 7 points in mind as you choose your data backup service provider.
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