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Backup as a Service Can be a Cost-Effective Part of Your Company’s Budget


Determining budgetary priorities is a balancing act. Often, business executives keep a tight rein on budgets, sometimes making the IT department’s priority of protecting data difficult. However, if business-critical data is lost and a company folds, keeping the lights on or employee benefits coming won’t really matter.

To illustrate, let’s use healthcare and an IT expenditure as an example. Recently, I received my company’s health insurance renewal. My broker came back with several options and indicated that our firm would not be grandfathered, nor would we be able to keep our plan. We were, however, provided Affordable Care Act compliant offerings that would provide significantly less coverage and carry a premium increase of 35 to 65 percent. Healthcare costs can be a huge chunk of an organization’s budget, and they’re growing.

On the IT side, a CIO told me that when he approached his CFO for a $12,000 annual budget approval for a backup as a service (BaaS) solution, the CFO was hesitant to spend the money.

To put the expenditure in perspective, the CIO mentioned the firm’s annual $1 million out-of-pocket healthcare costs for 200 employees versus $12,000 annually for BaaS. He further explained that while he understood the $1 million was to protect valuable firm assets—their employees—what if their business-critical data was lost? The CFO understood and approved the expenditure. The reality is that his annual healthcare cost may rise to $1.3 or $1.6 million, but the BaaS cost is fixed at $12,000 annually.

Before you think BaaS is a luxury and perhaps an unnecessary one at that, consider nationwide studies have indicated that firms have a 1 to 2 percent chance annually of experiencing a complete disaster, but upwards of a 70 percent chance annually of experiencing data loss. In my opinion, only two kinds of companies exist—companies that have lost data and companies that will lose data. Losing data has significant consequences for your business and your clients—not just from a financial perspective in lost time and recovery costs, but also damaged reputation and the long-term consequences of permanent loss of critical data.

Five Key Questions

Determining the best solution, implementation and testing can be daunting. Your solution is only as good as the weakest link. The best approach to backup and disaster recovery (DR) is simple and can be defined by deciding on recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). Consider these five key questions when assessing backup and DR solutions:

  1. Which data, applications and servers will, if lost, impact your business functions and in what time frame?
  2. What are the technologies hosting this information today and in the foreseeable future (hardware, virtual machines, operating systems, databases, heterogeneous platforms)?
  3. In the event of a loss, how quickly do you need to get the data back and systems up and running?
  4. Which personnel would be involved in the recovery process, including client and/or patient notification?
  5. Where would your recovery happen should you lose access to critical servers or your complete site?

James A. Kandrac is the president and founder of United Computer Group Inc.


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