Investing in Offsite Data Storage: Four Reasons to Outsource

If there’s one thing that everybody can agree on, it’s that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all data recovery plan.  Your company’s industry; the part of the country you live in; your budget – all of these factors play a part in a backup and storage plan.

But whether your company is in health care or finance; small or large; whether you’re located in Tornado Alley or the hurricane-prone Gulf Coast – one of the most important questions about data recovery is, “In-house or offsite?”

Many business owners and administrators like the idea of keeping things in-house.  They feel that keeping things on-site helps protect sensitive data safe while keeping costs down.  This is understandable – after all, why not let your own IT team handle things instead of paying monthly and yearly service fees to have someone else do it for you

The truth is, there are four good reasons to let someone else take control of your company’s data storage and recovery:

  1. Experience matters.  So does specialization.  You might have a world-class IT team with an encyclopedic knowledge of backup and recovery.  But chances are, that’s not all they do.  While an offsite service provider does only one thing – store and recover data – your IT team probably does a dozen or more jobs in any given week.  Data recovery is a highly specialized field, and it requires a knowledgeable staff. Going off-site gives you access to a team of focused specialists that you can’t get from within your company.
  2.  Location is critical.  When choosing a data storage facility, the ideal location should be close enough that your employees can get there if they need to – but not so close that the site is at risk for getting hit by, say, the same hurricane, earthquake, or tornado that puts your facility out of commission.  Opting for an offsite solution gives you the freedom to choose a location that makes sense for you and your employees – and it may help you bet back on your feet faster.
  3. You might not have the space, or the infrastructure.  Service providers that specialize in data storage and recovery are built with disasters in mind – unlike, say, a typical office building, a data storage facility is more likely to have been constructed with stability and safety in mind. Single-purpose data storage facilities are built to withstand disasters and hacker attacks, and they’re more likely to feature advanced security features that the average company doesn’t usually invest in.  Plus, these facilities have been designed by people who know the industry – they’re built to be adaptable and to grow without running out of space.
  4. Data recovery is an investment, not an expense.  It’s easy to see data recovery as just one more costly contract – but that’s not the case.  Sure, it might be cheaper to get your in-house IT staff to take control of your company’s data storage and recovery plan.  But if they don’t do it right, the money you save up front might not be enough to cover the costs of lost data down the road.  This is one case where you really do get what you pay for.

What do you think?  Do you handle your data storage in-house or offsite?  Why?  Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

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