Treat Every Day Like it’s Backup Day
Every March 31, companies and individuals around the world are encouraged to ensure the safety of their precious data on World Backup Day. The “holiday” brings attention to just how important backups can be and gives folks an annual reminder to secure their information in case disaster strikes.
While backing up data one day each year is better than nothing, it doesn’t prevent businesses from losing data for the next 364 days. In those 52 weeks these companies will generate reams of important transactions, customer data, payrolls, invoices, emails and documents, and they would be pretty unhappy if they lost everything from April 1 onward.
But when businesses entrust their digital computing operations to an MSP, their assumption will be that they now have an ally looking out for their data, and backup is part of that package. Looking back on Backup Day, are you meeting–and exceeding–their expectations?
A Complete Solution
Backup is one of those unfun, have-to-do items a business must take care of. It’s not particularly exciting, doesn’t generate revenue and (ideally) is rarely employed. Kind of like air bags in a car: Everyone knows they’re important, but no one thinks about them very much until they’re actually deployed in an emergency.
Backup is rarely grabbing the headlines within a company, and while IT departments generally check for failures, few take the time to confirm their backup works until things go sideways. Because it’s seldom discussed, “backup” can end up meaning different things to different people, and what’s required to truly check the box for a backup solution is often far more involved than what some providers may offer.
But a full and complete backup solution has many elements that a customer can choose from. Onsite vs. cloud, automatic vs. manual, selective vs. comprehensive, continuous vs. scheduled … These are all options for customers where they may not even have a preference or opinion.
And beyond how, when and where a client’s data is being backed up, there’s the matter of how it’s restored. Will they be able to seamlessly transfer operations to the backup environment, have a rapid recovery from an outage, or face days or weeks of rebuilding their operations from backed up data?
Of course, the ideal scenario is one where not only data is backed up and available for a quick restoration, but an image of the entire system state is stored separately, failing over to a virtual machine environment that allows admins to restore operations in less than an hour.
Employing artificial intelligence to analyze, prioritize and automate critical backups adds another layer of protection by guaranteeing that mission-critical information is backed up as soon as possible while not overburdening the network with unnecessary data transfers.
MSPs need a full toolbox of business continuity and recovery services to serve the needs of a diverse customer base and tailor their offering for each engagement.
Who’s the Boss?
When it comes to figuring out which solution is best for a given customer, MSPs must simultaneously serve as a trusted advisor and a vendor. Although some clients will have a very clear picture of what they need for backups, many won’t have as many preconceptions.
Of course, customer satisfaction is the top priority for MSPs, who want to protect their clients from any negative repercussions of an outage or data loss. But not every customer is going to place the same value and importance on this area. Backup is a cost center for them, and some may want to skimp on things to save some money on what they see as a less essential component of their IT stack.