National Small Business Week: Why your SMB customers need cloud backup

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on May 7, 2015 3:06:00 PM

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USB plug imageHappy National Small Business Week! Earlier this week we told you about this event and offered up a few different ways to get involved and celebrate with your SMB customers. Now, while you have the attention of your small business prospects and customers, use the opportunity to educate them on why they need cloud backup.

Start off by reminding them that protecting their data is critical to the continued success of their business. Explain how including cloud backup in their managed services contract will help keep their data safe even if disaster strikes and help make sure they can celebrate National Small Business Week again next year.

Many small business owners will want to focus on the cost effectiveness of just using a USB storage device to back up their data locally. As IT professionals, though, we know that this is not the best option. Unfortunately, small businesses might not.

To convince your customers why business-grade cloud backup is a better solution, compare a USB storage device backup to your cloud backup offering. This will help you clearly outline the benefits of cloud backup.

Price

Local device: When your customers mention the low cost of purchasing a USB or external hard drive, stress that while it’s affordable, it’s not sustainable. Over time small businesses will need to purchase more devices to support their growing needs, and these devices could be damaged or fail, costing their business thousands of dollars in downtime if the necessary backup data isn’t there when they need to do a restore.

—VS—

Cloud backup: Thanks to the pricing wars being waged by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, the price-per-gigabyte for storage is plummeting, so cloud backup services will very likely cost less than customers think it will. Yes, there will be a regular monthly cost for business-grade cloud backup services, but it comes with plenty of added value such as the regular management and oversight you would provide and the security of knowing that if something does happen, their data is safe in the cloud. 

Security

Local device: Being able to hold their data in their own hands, quite literally, is something small businesses value in device backup. Small businesses also like the independence device backup gives them, letting them secure their information themselves. While device backup offers these benefits, it leaves small businesses vulnerable to data loss. For example, if the device were stolen in a break-in, they would have no way of accessing their data. Not only will they have lost their data, but it also could end up in the hands of someone else.

—VS—

Cloud backup: Backing up data offsite to the cloud allows you to use encryption methods to keep it safe from prying eyes. Customers can limit who has access to their data and rely on the cloud to protect their information. Talk to your customers about the dangers of having insufficient security, and point out that 60 percent of SMBs that are breached go out of business within six months of an attack.

Time and effort

Local device: With device backup, it’s the small business' responsibility to maintain frequent backups, taking the time to connect the drive and wait for the backup to run. Due to the fact that this process is manual and not automated, people often forget to actually plug in the device, and they fail to maintain a current backup set. Some businesses might prefer this hands-on approach, but for most businesses, it’s just one more thing to do and will most likely be forgotten or neglected.

—VS—

Cloud backup: Cloud backup allows users to save a significant amount of time with its “set-it-and-forget-it” design. This approach allows small businesses to install the software and schedule regular backups to continually backup data without having to do it themselves. If disaster strikes, they can get their business back up and running fast, restoring their latest backup set from the cloud.

Storage limits

Local device: Depending on the amount of data a small business is looking to back up, they might be able to use a device for their ongoing backups. But disk drives are built with maximum capabilities, so SMBs will need to buy larger devices as their backup needs grow. It’s worth noting that a consumer-grade USB storage device is not going to be big enough to back up a server, making this approach ineffective for many businesses.

—VS—

Cloud backup: Business-grade cloud storage services offer small businesses limitless scalability, making it easy to add storage as needs change instead of needing to continually buy more devices. 

Support services

Local device: Yes, some small business owners might be tech whizzes, but it’s more common that small businesses aren’t sure how to manage their IT environments and need help in this department. That means they’ll need to look to an IT service provider to help manage local device backups properly anyway because most devices come with very limited tech support (if any).

—VS—

Cloud backup: Showcase your expertise and remind them that when a backup fails or when they need a restore performed, you’re there to take care of it or help walk them through it. Using cloud backup, you can be more efficient at your job and help them to get back up and running more quickly.

After reviewing the different aspects of local device backup and business-grade cloud backup, your small business prospect or customer will have the evidence they need to make an informed purchasing decision.

There are certainly cases where having a local backup strategy as part of an overall data protection strategy will be appropriate. However, relying on you as their trusted IT services provider will ensure that the local storage component is “business-ready” and delivers the robust protection locally and off-site to the cloud.

Ultimately, making the investment in cloud backup can save their business. When faced with a disaster or cyber attack, they don’t want to be left wondering if their data is backed up—they want to know that it’s safe and readily available. 

Photo credit: Jacob Garcia on Flickr. Used under CC 2.0 license.

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