MAKING THE BUSINESS CASE FOR MOVING TO THE CLOUD

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1 MAKING THE BUSINESS CASE FOR MOVING TO THE CLOUD ABSTRACT How to prove that cloud-based data solutions are the right choice Cloud-based applications and software are becoming the industry standard. There s no doubt about it. Even the government has implemented a Cloud First policy, citing cost, flexibility, and speed as major benefits to cloud computing.1 As the cloud s popularity continues to grow, many companies are evaluating cloud-based backup and data solutions. While protecting business data in the cloud makes technical sense from an IT standpoint, making the business case for it can be challenging. Internal decision-makers may be concerned with the bandwidth requirements, security, reliability, and cost of cloud-based data solutions. Use this document as a guide for answering questions, overcoming barriers, and creating a strong business case for moving your company s data protection to the cloud.

2 Will a cloud backup solution require too much bandwidth? One of the common concerns about implementing a cloud data solution is that it will require too much bandwidth, either slowing down backups or slowing down the flow of business. Plus, if backing up requires significant bandwidth, that means it also requires more money. Along with bandwidth, connectivity itself can be a concern. What if the internet goes down? What if the latest information isn t uploaded to the cloud? If you re going to make the case for implementing a cloud-based backup solution, bandwidth is a barrier you ll need to overcome. Fortunately, it s a concern that can be easily quelled. Customized scheduling allows users to create a backup schedule around the flow of business. While cloud backups do require a certain amount of bandwidth, they re designed to protect business, not disrupt it. That s why most leading data solutions offer a bandwidth throttle feature that lets you control the amount of bandwidth used at any given time, virtually eliminating the possibility that bandwidth will be an issue. In fact, customized scheduling allows users to create a backup schedule around the flow of business. So less bandwidth can be dedicated to backups during peak hours. 2

3 Personalized settings also allow you to determine what type of backup (full, differential, or incremental) should be run and when. That means you ll be able to back up more often and more efficiently than you would with traditional backup solutions. Fifty-one percent of database backup and operations professionals support that statement, citing the frequency of backups as a top benefit of moving to the cloud. 2 Furthermore, because frequent backups are possible, an internet outage in the office won t necessarily jeopardize all of a company s data. Backup sets performed during the specific time of the outage can be identified and data can be re-uploaded to the cloud. THE BARRIER THE SOLUTION Bandwidth Implement a cloud-based backup solution with bandwidth controls, allowing you to adjust when and how much bandwidth is used based on the flow of business. 3

4 Are cloud backup solutions secure? Another conversation you re likely to have about cloud-based solutions is around security. Because the cloud isn t a physical object like a hard drive or DVD, it s natural for it to elicit a certain amount of skepticism when it comes to security. In fact, a recent study found that 60% of small and midsize businesses that do not use the cloud cited concerns around data security as an inhibitor to adoption. 3 On a deeper level, many regulated industries like healthcare must adhere to certain compliance requirements in order to back up patient data. Regulation is a common barrier among many industries, leading 39% of small and midsized businesses that do not use the cloud to cite compliance as a reason why they have not adopted cloud services. 3 When making the case for moving backup to the cloud, you ll need to be prepared for the question of security to arise. What your internal decision-makers probably don t know is that cloud-based solutions are often more secure than traditional Ninety-one percent of small backup methods. One thing to note about the statistics in the and midsized businesses previous sections is that businesses listed security as an issue said the security of their with cloud solutions only before their adoption. When asked about security after implementing cloud solutions, 91% of small organization has been and midsized businesses said the security of their organization positively impacted as a had been positively impacted as a result of cloud adoption. 3 result of cloud adoption. 3 At the most basic level, it only makes sense that cloud-based backup would be more secure than local backup. While a hard drive or a DVD is subject to anything from coffee spills to more serious disasters like floods and fires, data stored in the cloud is protected inside ultra-secure offsite data centers. Why leave something on a desk that can be broken or stolen when you can protect it behind guarded doors? 4

5 Most of the industry s leading backup providers house data in secure facilities featuring temperature controls, uninterruptible power supplies, onsite generators, and even round-the-clock security guards. As data is transferred to these secure data centers, it s encrypted and transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Some providers offer Private Key Encryption, an additional option giving you a private key that s held by you and you alone, ensuring complete privacy. If you re a healthcare organization complying with the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), make sure to work with a solutions provider that offers you a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). This ensures that your solution is in compliance with HIPAA s administrative, physical, and technical safeguards when storing patients health information. The same goes for educational organizations requiring Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliance and financial organizations requiring Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) compliance. Although security is almost always a concern regarding cloud storage, it s a barrier that s easily removed. THE BARRIER THE SOLUTION Security Select a solution that ensures encrypted transfers and storage, features guarded data centers, and complies with industry regulations. 5

6 Are cloud backup solutions reliable? Reliability and continuity are likely topics that will come up when discussing cloud backup. According to a recent Microsoft study, one of the top reasons small and midsized businesses haven t adopted the cloud is because they are concerned about its reliability. 3 This goes hand in hand with security concerns. It s an issue that s likely to arise simply because decision-makers may not be familiar with the way that cloud-based backup solutions work. Any interruption to the flow of business is costly, making fast recovery paramount after a data disaster. So it s natural that restoration from a new source would be of concern. Ninety-six percent of small and midsized businesses that use the cloud said they are confident their cloud provider can quickly and effectively restore services during an outage. 3 However, cloud data solutions are not just as reliable as traditional backup solutions they re actually more reliable. Once businesses move to the cloud, they are almost always more confident in their ability to keep moving forward continuously. When asked, 96% of small and midsized businesses that use the cloud said they are confident their cloud provider can quickly and effectively restore services during an outage. 3 Thirty percent of best-in-class businesses also experienced a decrease in time it took to recover since adopting cloud storage. 4 Not only are cloud solutions reliable, but they also help to maintain and often improve the uninterrupted flow of business. According to an Aberdeen study, over 22% of best-in-class businesses experienced a decrease in business interruptions after switching to cloud storage. 4 6

7 One way to help prove the reliability of a cloud solution internally is to emphasize how easy it is to manage. When a user interface is intuitive and successful backups are easily visible, users tend to feel more confident in their solution. This is true for 41% of database professionals surveyed by Forrester, who cited ease of management as a top benefit for using the public cloud. 2 Gather screenshots of the solution you re recommending to demonstrate its ease of use to your internal stakeholders. Or even better, some providers offer free trials you can download one and give them a quick demonstration. After all, seeing is believing. THE BARRIER THE SOLUTION Reliability Demonstrate the ease of monitoring successful backups and the speed of recovery with a free product trial. 7

8 How much will a cloud backup solution cost? With the introduction of any new solution, cost will always be a factor. Decision-makers within every company are concerned about their bottom line and how operational changes may impact expenses and efficiency. Cloud-based solutions often require an annual subscription, which can complicate accounting matters. With traditional backup solutions like hard drives or tapes, acquiring the hardware is a one-time cost and ongoing expenses come from employees managing those systems. With cloud backup, the concern is that an annual subscription might impact cash flow. Approximately half of CIOs think twice about moving to the cloud for accounting reasons. 5 Thus, be prepared to discuss how moving your company s backup to the cloud may complicate business finances. The good news? The sheer cost savings of cloud backup vastly outweighs any negative implications of accounting complications. Sixty-one percent of database backup and operations professionals who have implemented cloud backup say that saving money on storage costs was their top reason for doing so. 2 Although price is perhaps the most common question about any operational change, it s often the easiest to answer. While shifting IT infrastructure may seem expensive, cloud-based data solutions are just the opposite. In fact, 61% of database backup and operations professionals who have implemented cloud backup say that saving money on storage costs was their top reason for doing so. 2 Similarly, more than 20% of best-inclass organizations experienced a decrease in their storage costs after utilizing cloud storage. 4 Among the group that has seen a significant cost savings is Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana. 6 Jeff Ton, CIO and senior vice president of corporate connectivity, estimates that use of the cloud [disaster recovery] service over physical systems saves Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana $25,000 a year significant numbers when you re a nonprofit. 6 8

9 When looking at cloud applications as a larger category, it s been reported that cloud applications multiply ROI by 1.7 times over on-premises solutions. 7 Before making the case for cloud backup to internal decisionmakers, it s a good idea to estimate the annual subscription cost of your recommended solution. It may only be a few hundred dollars a year, which is probably significantly less than what they d expect. Plus, it s clear that they ll experience a larger cost savings over time due to the automatic and efficient nature of cloud backup. THE BARRIER THE SOLUTION Price Cite industry-recognized cost savings and efficiencies gained by moving data backup to the cloud including 1.7 times greater ROI for cloud applications in general. 7 9

10 Making an even stronger case: remote access and hybrid structure In addition to providing counter-points to internal concerns, there are a number of benefits associated with cloud backup that are not available with traditional backup solutions. One of those is remote access. Data loss often occurs when there s a disaster either in the office or in the area. By protecting company data in the cloud, it s immune to those disasters. Furthermore, some cloud backup providers also Data loss often occurs when provide synching capabilities among data. So users can access data anytime, from anywhere, and make changes to it. Those there s a disaster either in changes are then automatically saved across all copies of that the office or in the area. By data. protecting company data in Another benefit that s unique to cloud-based backup is the the cloud, it s immune to ability to implement a hybrid structure. Effectively encompassing those disasters. the best of both worlds, a hybrid structure backs up data to the cloud and to a local device simultaneously. So users enjoy both the speed of local recovery and the security of the cloud. Most advanced cloud-based server plans offer a hybrid capability of some kind. This may be a helpful option, especially when transitioning from a traditional backup solution like an external hard drive. Recognizing an industry shift If you re making the push to move business to the cloud, you re certainly not alone. Forrester has seen cloud backup adoption double over the past four years, showing significant momentum. 2 Across industries, 44% of enterprises claim they want or are planning to extend disaster recovery to the public cloud. 2 The data protection industry is shifting toward the cloud, and it s shifting for a reason. It makes sense. 10

11 Recommending the right solution When making the business case for moving backup to the cloud, it s crucial that you come to the table with the right solution. In order to answer the questions and concerns outlined previously, you should be able to identify the specific advantages of your chosen product. One solution that s highly recommended across a wide range of industries is Carbonite. Carbonite data solutions are powerful, automatic, and secure options that can easily support your business case. Each of Carbonite s Carbonite data solutions are plans utilizes encryption technology to transfer and store data in secure offsite data centers, ensure reliable, fast recovery, powerful, automatic, and and allow for automatic backups, all at a low annual price. secure options that can easily support your business More specifically, Carbonite Pro plans provide continuous case. workstation backup that comes with an exclusive mobile app for access to data anytime, anywhere. Carbonite Server Backup is a more robust, more comprehensive suite of plans that are highly customizable and offer hybrid capability. The Carbonite Server Pro Bundle combines the benefits of both workstation and server backup for the most complete solution. You can download a free trial of Carbonite Pro and Server plans before making your case for the cloud. Simply contact our sales team at , or locate your nearest authorized Carbonite Partner at 11

12 Sources referenced Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management. By Kunda Vivek. (Washington, D.C.: The White House). 2. Cloud Backup And Disaster Recovery Meets Next-Generation Database Demands, March 2014, available from Forrester, accessed November 22, Small and Midsize Businesses Cloud Trust Study: U.S. Study Results, June 2013, completed by comscore Inc., available from Microsoft, accessed November 22, Aberdeen Group. Cloud Storage: Lower Cost and Increase Uptime. Analyst Insight. April King, Rachel. CIOs Count the Reasons to Resist the Cloud, The Wall Street Journal, September 23, Babcock, Charles Cloud ROI Survey. InformationWeek. August Cloud Applications Multiply ROI by 1/7 Times Over On-Premise Solutions. Nucleus Research. September 18,

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