If you’re like millions of other businesses across the globe, you’re enjoying the many benefits of switching to Office 365: increased productivity, data access from wherever, greater flexibility, and an overall more engaged, motivated team. Life is good. Or is it? How about that little thing called data protection? Microsoft only guarantees 90 percent of your data for 30 days. Is that enough for your business?

Data Loss

Data loss is like doing your taxes: nobody likes it, but it’s inevitable. Any disaster that impacts your primary data center will likely destroy critical data. Here in Illinois, we might not be susceptible to earthquakes or hurricanes, but as the saying goes, crazier things have happened. Hard drive failures, office fires, floods, or tornados are not out of the question. These emergencies are costly; lost data often means thousands of dollars in revenue or productivity and in some highly regulated industries, heavy fines. Research from StorageCraft says that on average, one minute of downtime costs $926 and $136 per lost record. Multiply those figures by hundreds of data items, and you get one expensive “oops.”

Solution: call in backup. Backups are a crucial component to a successful disaster recovery plan because they account for an array of unpredictable circumstances. However, not all backups are created equal. Intelligent backup systems can search your computer and comb through what is valuable and what is not; inexpensive scale-out converged infrastructure lets you pay as you go and bring your own disks; and then, there’s the cloud.

The cloud is a popular solution because it’s a backup based on the internet instead of software downloaded on a physical server or application. Cloud backup recovery keeps all SaaS data safe and recoverable, ready whenever and wherever you need it. In terms of disaster recovery, cloud is preferable because it saves time, doesn’t require a large up-front investment and is flexible. Buying into cloud culture has made it especially easy for smaller businesses to fortify security without needing advanced expertise.

However, just because you’re in the cloud doesn’t mean you’re automatically backed up.

Most providers have solid uptime guarantees, but that doesn’t guarantee your data is safe in case of deletion. Routinely backing up your data and seeking assistance doing so will ensure your data is safe and sound. These are the top five reasons to back up your Office 365 data in the cloud.

Need to evaluate your disaster recovery plan? Contact us for a free onsite consultation.

The Human Factor

This scenario is probably familiar: you’ve been tediously working on an important file, say next year’s budget. You’re on a roll – changing stats here, deleting lines there – when suddenly you realize you have to start over! You spontaneously hit save instead of cancel. With a sinking feeling, it hits that you’ve overwritten the company budget and erased hours (if not days) of work in one fell swoop.

You’ll be relieved to know you’re not the only one: 64 percent of data loss in the cloud happens because of human error.  On top of that, IT admins that have “too much data” do not back up on a daily basis. In an era of uncontrolled digital expansion, this is a plausible concern. Companies are now more accepting of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, meaning anyone can bring high-res photos and videos on their phones and store large files on company systems. This makes it harder to manage the resulted massive volume of unstructured data. The more employees and partners collaborate on documents, the greater the need for airtight control.

With a well-oiled cloud backup, you’ll be able to recover the file in minutes rather than calling Microsoft, only for them to tell you they cannot go back in time and restore the file.

The Employee that leaves

A regular occurrence: an employee leaves the company, so you deactivate their Office 365 account. Then, you need to retrieve a presentation or spreadsheet from their email. Storing your data with the cloud ensures all employees can search backups at a granular level and have access to one version of the truth.

Microsoft will tell you they held the files for 30 days from when you deactivated the account, but then deleted them.

The Hackers

Cybercrime is on the rise. If you haven’t been the victim of a cyber attack or even an attempt yet, it’s just a matter of time. Lost technology is a big enough problem, but the sensitive information inside the technology poses the greatest security threat. A vulnerable company’s data center is a treasure trove for a skilled hacker: bank account logins, financials, email addresses, and even social security numbers galore. It’s as simple as clicking a link in an email that activates a virus, encrypts your files, and holds you ransom.

Utilizing a cloud backup and recovery solution means you can recover all your files as it was before the virus and get back to normalcy quicker. Microsoft will tell you it may “take some time,” i.e. hours/days/weeks with no guarantees they’ll be able to recover all, if any, files.

The Employee gone “rogue”

Ninety-nine percent of the time, the trust you put in your employees is justified. And yet, all it takes is one disgruntled employee. After he or she left, you found out one of your employees deleted a huge portion of your data. With a cloud backup and recovery solution, you can recoup any files that were maliciously deleted. Microsoft would, again, tell you there’s no guarantee they can regain any of your files, and it will probably “take some time.” Getting old quick, isn’t it?

The mishapp

“There’s an app for that.” There really is an app for everything these days because they make life so much easier. That doesn’t mean they don’t get temperamental and misbehave from time to time. The fifth most common (and surprising) cause is data being overwritten by third party software. It sounds unlikely, but if it can happen to Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, it can happen to you.

Conclusion

If you and your employees never make any mistakes, your security is 100% impenetrable, your employees never leave and are always happy, and your apps never do anything unexpected – then you don’t need to back up your Office 365 data. But, if you’re like the rest of us, then you need to think about disaster planning or recovery. Preparing for the worst will put you on the road to disaster recovery when things do go awry.

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