In the past two years alone, 63 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the US began using an online, or cloud-based, backup service, according to a recent survey by B2B research firm Clutch. This rapid implementation shows that many SMBs increasingly find online backup solutions’ unique features and capabilities appealing for their company.
Our Chief Technology Officer, Steve Woodward, spoke with Clutch to offer insight into the industry and comment on the survey results.
His expertise shed light on an important stipulation of migrating to cloud backup solutions. Not all data is being moved to the cloud exclusively. Rather, the adoption is piecemeal, with certain data and industry needs still fulfilled better by on-premise options.
Why SMBs Were Slow to Adopt Online Backup Solutions In the Past
For background, Woodward outlined several reasons why so many SMBs were slow to adopt cloud-based backup services before 2014.
- Control Over Data
For businesses more familiar with on-premise options, moving to the Cloud can resemble a loss of control.
The idea of third-party services safekeeping your data, instead of your in-house IT team, raises concerns, especially about data security. However, in reality, large Cloud service vendors provide more and better security features than an SMB could afford on its own.
- Regulatory Concerns
The control factor is further compounded by the fact that business executives often have to sign legal papers stating that they have done everything they can to secure their data.
“When people have to put their signature on the line, it’s concerning because they lose a little control,” Woodward said. “They feel like they’re signing for a third party, and if this outside service makes a mistake, the business will still be on the line.”
These concerns come into play on a larger scale depending on the industry or the type of data the company stores in the Cloud.
Where SMBs Back Up Their Data
In light of these concerns about using the Cloud to back up data, it isn’t surprising that 56 percent of SMBs say they back up data that’s critical to business operation in two places – online and on-site.
“SMBs care about a lot of different types of data. For example, they may have files and collaborative content that needs to be accessible to both internal and external people,” Woodward said. “On the other hand, data, like operating system backups, operational files, and servers, do not need to be as accessible to everyone in a company. It doesn’t always make sense for this type of data to be stored in the Cloud.”
Importance of Data Backup Location
The majority of SMBs (88%) see value in using both on-site and online backup solutions.
“We are at the point now where most of the early adopters have had some level of success,” Woodward said. “Now, others are saying, ‘Hey, this is the right time and place.’ So, for applications that makes sense, people are moving to the cloud.”
Overall, Woodward believes that while the shift to online backup services will accelerate in the coming years, acceptance of the Cloud will remain a slow-growing trend.
“Businesses in highly regulated industries will experience a lot of friction when it comes to migrating to the Cloud,” Woodward said. “Small businesses will rely less on on-premise backup options as more government and financial institutions adopt the Cloud. It will trickle down.”