What are the main advantages of online backups for a small business?
Having an online backup for a small business mitigates the damage that could be caused by fires, floods, computer viruses, theft, etc. These incidents could ruin more traditional devices. If your computer is destroyed in a fire or flood, an online backup means that you will still be able to recover your data and won’t lose your valuable files.
Recovery is easier
The best online backup solutions are able to provide full data recovery whenever it is needed and in a very short time. This means that there will not be a significant disruption to your workflow if things go wrong.
Manual data backups are generally unable to deal with versioning. This is because they tend to be taken at ‘absolute’ points, such as at midnight. However with online data backups, sequential copies of your data can be saved and catalogued, meaning that you can go back to specific previous versions if needed – even if they have only been minimally changed. This is particularly useful when working on data that is being changed or updated on a regular basis.
Sync your data on different devices
This means that the latest version of your file is always available, regardless of whether you are accessing it via your tablet or via your desktop computer. This boosts productivity and means no longer having to save different versions of the same file on each different device and being unsure which is the most up to date.
Saves money and time
Buying physical backup media can require significant initial outlay. These devices also need maintenance, upgrading, checking etc, which will take up valuable time.
Peace of mind
Knowing that your data is safe, backed up and easily retrievable removes a great deal of worry and pressure. It is hard to put a value on this peace of mind; however, for most people, it is worth a significant amount.
This all sounds fantastic, so what’s the catch? Well, there are a couple of potential downsides:
Initial backup/seeding data – this first full backup can be time-consuming and potentially disruptive to the workplace, as it will tend to need at least some downtime.
Size limitations – bandwidth can be an issue for some larger organisations, as full backups on an hourly basis require significant capacity. This is not much of an issue for smaller businesses.
Discontinuation of service – this is a potential issue if opting for smaller, lesser-known providers, as you need to be aware that they could pull the plug with little warning. This is not going to happen with the larger providers.