Friday, 24 January 2014

10 Reasons to Backup Your Data to the Cloud

In an era filled with conspiracy theories about cyberspace and spying, one can certainly understand the reluctance people feel about hosting their sensitive and usually confidential data in a relatively uncontrolled virtual environment – and that risk is multiplied for corporations.

If we objectively set aside privacy and security concerns for online data backup (which are relatively negligible risks, especially with trusted providers), we can identify a number of major advantages for storing business and personal data in the cloud.

This post highlights 10 major reasons why you should consider storing your data in the cloud. Read on to discover:

1.  Virtualization of Data Storage

Storing personal or business data is a core need that must be satisfied, usually on a daily basis. Backup or storage of data has merits that need no introduction – ensuring that your data is not lost, corrupted, or unavailable when you need it.

With local storage, there are manpower, hardware, and maintenance/upgrade costs that cannot be avoided, even for personal use.

[Related Article: Online Businesses Should Dump Outsourcing for the Cloud]

Storing data in the cloud virtualizes this process so that you don’t have to worry about any of those extra costs. For cloud storage, you only need a trusted platform and dedicated Internet access to upload and retrieve your documents and files at any time.

2. Zero Installed Capacity

The fact that your data is stored and backed up virtually on a routine basis implies that you incur zero installed capacity – that is to say there are mostly no hardware (physical equipment) requirements for cloud backup and storage. 

3. Zero Data Maintenance Costs

The great thing about having zero installed capacity is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance. With local storage, you are routinely faced with the need to maintain your servers or upgrade software, and so on. All these costs can be avoided thanks to the virtualization that the cloud provides.

4. High Data Redundancy 

Cloud storage providers usually have vast storage capacities and your data can be internally backed up several times over with each upload (high redundancy). This ensures that your files simply don’t get lost and are always available, even if the particular facility originally hosting your data is compromised. 

5. Enterprise-grade Data Security and Privacy

This is a very important point – despite the fears that are circulating globally about the privacy and security of data stored online, cloud-based backup still provides one of the safest, most secure, and most private options for data backup.

For one thing, most of the trusted providers use enterprise-grade security (a combination of 256-bit AES encryption at least, with SSL for session security and identity management). And don’t forget that the server-side is always running the latest anti-virus, anti-phishing and network security software combined with multiple layers of physical security.

With cloud backup, you can rest assured knowing that your data is not tampered with or interfered with in any way by third parties.

6. Instant Access from Any Location

One of the most interesting advantages of cloud storage is instant access from any location as long as Internet access is available. This particular advantage facilitates the creation of virtual offices and remote working positions – very useful for SOHO businesses or startups.

7. Lower IT and Manpower Costs

Because there are virtually no IT or manpower requirements when working from the cloud, those costs can be reduced to the barest minimum, allowing you to access higher profitability. 

8. Streamlined Data Operations and Actionable Reporting

Because of the higher degree of automation that is available with cloud-based systems, it is possible to streamline your data operations, improving efficiency and reliability across the board. Another crucial advantage linked to this automation is the instant availability of critical actionable data on the performance of your major IT and data indicators. 

9. Many Providers with Affordable Storage Plans

An added incentive for you to consider cloud storage is the fact that there are simply so many providers – this means the competition is high and you can expect tariffs to be low, and quality of service to be high. Simply pick and choose the features you want and match to available providers.

10. Easier Growth & Scalability

Maybe I saved the best for last – this reason is especially cogent for businesses; with the cloud, you access easier growth and scalability. This is because IT and data needs increase as you grow, and without virtualization, you bear the cost of expanding your internal capacity to accommodate these inevitable changes.

With cloud-based storage and the virtualization it provides, you simply grow without additional related IT or data costs.

So there you have it – 10 powerful reasons why you should consider switching to the cloud today for your data backup and storage. I hope it was an interesting and informational read.
Questions? Comments? Please drop me a line below. Thanks for reading!