Net Platforms

Data Backup in Your Organisation for 2022 – The Cloud Vs On-Premise

As we all know, unforeseen circumstances are constantly changing our approach to the way we go about our daily activities and nothing is a certainty for any length of time any more. We are all familiar with how quickly things can change, most recently from the pandemic which forced business owners to change their vital – and long standing – processes practically overnight just to stand a chance of surviving another day, let alone to thrive.

Business owners excel when solving problems – many found alternatives rapidly and gave their teams a chance of producing at least close to the output they were able to pre pandemic, also aiding them to survive the worst. The most popular method of survival – by quite some way – was the Cloud, which gave employees the chance to continue working as they normally would but from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. The Cloud isn’t a new thing though: it has gradually been growing in popularity for quite some time now, and in line with that so has remote working. It just took something as business defining as the pandemic to force business owners to do something they don’t normally do – to dive in headfirst with very little forethought or planning.

The Cloud works as a service as opposed to your needing to pay for the infrastructure behind it. This means that you don’t have to manage it either, offering a unique change from traditional ways of doing things. So now you and your team will have the spare time to do more important things that will affect the bottom line of the organisation, and in turn allow the business to thrive.

Internationally, the Cloud is fast becoming the most popular IT solution for most. However, it isn’t right for everyone, because for some on-premise IT infrastructure is vital to keep the business operational, and for others a hybrid of both on-premise IT and the Cloud offers the best option. Every business in the world has its own needs and requirements – no two are the same – and this can also be said for their IT solutions. One of the main reasons that the Cloud isn’t for everyone is that some businesses are reliant on a stable internet connection 100% of the time, and in the Cloud – unfortunately – that can’t be guaranteed.

That is why we can’t tell you what is best for you and your team, and you must look at the needs of your own organisation and to decide. Don’t just choose the most popular option.

It isn’t an easy decision to make, because you need to decide based on not just your own needs but the needs of your team and the organisation as a whole – after all, what is right for you and your workday in the office to be as productive as possible is unlikely to be the same as what your team on the factory floor need, for example.

In the following two articles we will outline the positives and negatives of both the Cloud and on-premise IT and hopefully offer some guidance that will help you to decide which is best for you, your team, and your organisation.

The positives of choosing the Cloud and Cloud backups

  • Good Backup

The Cloud offers confidence in the safety of your data to a level that is not achievable when using on-premise IT. On-premise IT is vulnerable to a variety of threats, and this is what makes data backup so important – without it, your data could be lost forever. Could your organisation survive a major data breach or data loss?

The Cloud is regarded as ‘safe’ but, regardless of your cyber security measures and the safety of working in the Cloud, you must have copies of your data hosted elsewhere. The more copies of your data you have spread amongst separate locations then the more secure you are, meaning that you can guarantee business continuity.

  • Collaboration

Collaboration is key in the modern world of work, and the Cloud offers levels of it that were simply unachievable in years past. It allows you to communicate and share from anywhere on the globe – as long as you have internet connection. Theoretically, you could be on your balcony abroad, or on your boat relaxing – as long as you have a stable internet connection you can still work as efficiently – or, on occasion, more efficiently – than you normally can, and the real selling point is that no one need know that you are working from there.

The Cloud offers revolutionary levels of collaboration. It allows your team to work on any of your backed up data at the same time from different locations – regardless of where they are in the world. Again, theoretically, you could be in Spain on your balcony and your colleague could be in the office at home, but both of you will have full access and the ability to alter the same document in real time. So now a team no longer needs to be in the same room to work together.

  • Scalability

Flexibility is often one of the features that Cloud providers boast in their marketing pitches. Basically, this means that scaling is simple and can be done whenever you need to. As we have already said, the world of work is a fickle one, and things can change at a moment’s notice (the pandemic proved this when businesses around the world had to make a transition from a fully functioning office with 40 plus members working side by side, to a massively reduced team, practically overnight).

Thankfully, for most of us, work seems to be approaching some semblance of normality, and those team members that were sent to work remotely are – depending on how much the business thrived throughout the pandemic – coming back to the office. For some, those teams may even grow larger. Whichever applies to you, it is essential that you continue to meet the demands of your organisation. The ability to scale overnight allows you to remain cost effective as an organisation, meaning that, rather than paying for tools you aren’t using, you only pay for the ones that you are.

A combination of your data backup solutions and the Cloud will allow you to gain instant access to your data in the event of a business defining crisis. In the modern cut throat world of business, even one day of not being able to operate could spell disaster for many businesses, so it is for this reason that business continuity is vitally important.

  • It’s cheaper

Managing your own IT systems and the data in those systems can become a large expense – when using the Cloud this expense is cut completely. The majority of Cloud providers include all system upgrades, new hardware, and software as standard – all of which are added on as an additional cost when using traditional IT. System upgrades, new hardware, and software are included in your pre-agreed monthly payments.

An added issue with traditional IT is that you have to be familiar with tech as a whole – not only do you have to pay for any upgrades on top of your original plan but you also have to remain alert as to when they are needed. For those of us that are less familiar with IT this can prove challenging and very time consuming. The Cloud also saves you money elsewhere, even ensuring that you can – if you wish – let your current team of IT professionals go, as your Cloud provider will manage your traditional systems as part of the service you are paying for.

  • Data protection in the event of a disaster

On-premise backups can be destroyed in the event of a disaster. Data backed up to the Cloud will be isolated from that potentially business defining event, while your offices and systems may be destroyed. By doing Cloud backups, you can guarantee business continuity because it enables you to quickly get up and running again.

However, the Cloud is by no means perfect. Let’s explore some of it’s less than perfect traits now.

The Negatives of choosing the Cloud and Cloud backup

  • Internet connection dependency

One of the biggest concerns for business owners from every sector when considering an implementation of the Cloud is it’s need for an uninterrupted, constant internet connection. Due to being on the Cloud it is a fair presumption that you likely don’t have a lot – if any – data stored locally, meaning that your organisation is entirely reliant on a stable internet connection to allow you and your team to access the all-important data and services that are hosted there; data which is the lifeblood of your organisation. Should there be a drop in the internet connection, the potentially huge downtime could be disastrous for some businesses.

  • The loss of control

Business owners NEED control, and they strive for it in any way they can. That is understandable – after all, it is your business. Adopting Cloud computing requires a great deal of trust in your provider to not only handle your data, but to handle it lawfully according to your industry’s various compliance obligations. If you choose to adopt Cloud computing you must know where your provider’s data centres are and if they are secure both physically and online. Your compliance to your regulatory requirements could depend on your knowledge of this, as they may require you to complete due diligence on your provider.

In the event of an issue or disaster, you will have to sit back and let your provider handle everything however they see fit. The powerlessness that comes with the Cloud can be frustrating, and relying on the capabilities and haste of your hosted provider’s technical support team can be too much for some. There are also many providers that don’t run 24/7 services either so, if your business requires assistance at 4am one morning, you are going to be waiting until your provider’s opening times or if the problem occurred on the weekend until Monday, for help. Shop around and find one that suits your hours of operation.

  • Potential for data loss at the end of the contract

You must be careful and read the cloud provider’s policy closely, especially in regards to cancelled contracts. You need to be sure that you can download your backup upon cancelling your contract. Be sure to confirm how long the cloud provider will keep your data when you plan on cancelling.

  • It isn’t easy to switch

It can be an arduous process to switch to another Cloud provider. Yes, you can simply back up your systems to the new Cloud provider, but you will also want to migrate your older backups to the new Cloud infrastructure as well. There are tools out there to assist you in this task, but they are usually catered to small volumes of data – you can download your data from your old provider and download it to your new one, but this can take an awfully long time depending on the volume of data you are working with.

It is clear to see that the positives outweigh the negatives. Cloud computing is the future of business IT, so take your time to learn about it and all of its various capabilities.

Now you know the positives and negatives of the Cloud, in the following article we will explore traditional on-premise IT, the positives and negatives, and whether it is right for your organisation.

Appropriate Data Backup for 2022

Using the tools at your disposal correctly will ensure value. You have the power to revolutionise the way your organisation produces work. We can ensure that you implement the right tools, use them correctly, and plan for the future with those tools as important assets in the prolonged success of your organisation. Our success can be attributed to one thing: TRUST. Ever since our very first year in business our clients have been happy to recommend us to other businesses, and we have grown steadily as a result of these recommendations. We can truly help you to get the best from your IT in the most secure way possible. Don’t hesitate – contact us now!

Data Backup CTA1