Data protection solutions are essential for businesses of all sizes to implement, regardless of size, industry and geographic location. In this article we’ll discuss the importance of business continuity rather than a simple backup.

Downtime is real and it’s costly. How costly exactly? Depending on the size of the organization, the cost per hour of downtime we typically see is anywhere from $1,000 – $20,000. On average, a business will lose around 14.1 hours of downtime each year – what’s more, a staggering 545 hours of staff productivity are lost annually because of these IT outages. The numbers speak for themselves!

So what causes downtime? According to a 2017 study, network outages and human error account for 50% and 45% of downtime, respectively. Meanwhile, natural disasters account for just 10%of downtime. As it turns out, businesses should be more wary of their own employees and less of natural disasters. If you’ve been putting off data protection because your organization is located far from any inclement weather, be warned: the bigger threat to your data is inside of your company, not the great outdoors.

What are SMBs doing to protect themselves? Over 60% of them still ship tapes to a storage facility or another office, a surprising number, considering the technology is over four decades old and the storage and retrieval processes are extremely cumbersome. Meanwhile, nearly 20% are already using some sort of cloud-based data backup.

Using local backup for business continuity works well for quick restores. Because the data is right there, it’s fast and easy to restore back to its original location and keep the business humming. But what happens if the power goes out? If the device fails? Or if it is stolen or destroyed in a natural or man-made disaster? You might think the cloud looks more attractive for all these reasons. But cloud-only backup is risky because you can’t control the bandwidth. Restores tend to be difficult and time-consuming. After all, the cloud can fail, too.

Business continuity, on the other hand, involves thinking about the business at a higher-level and asks: how quickly can I get my business operating again in case of system failure? Thinking about data backup is a good first step. Business continuity is equally important to consider as it ensures your organization is able to get back up and running in a timely matter if disaster strikes. For example, if your server dies, you wouldn’t be able to quickly get back to work if you only had file-level backup. Your server would need to be replaced, software and data re-installed, and the whole system would need to be configured with your settings and preferences. This process could take days. Can your business afford to lose that time?

How does a hybrid-cloud solution work? Your data is first copied and stored on a local device. That way, if something happens, you can do a fast and easy restore from that device. But then your data is also replicated in the cloud. So if anything happens to that device, you’ve got off-site cloud copies of your data—without having to worry about moving copies of your data off-site physically.

This solution describes an ideal backup solution, that lends itself to a strong business continuity plan. Curious? Give us a call and speak with our experts today!