It’s hard to believe that online backup has already been around for well over a decade. In the beginning, most considered it a novelty or fad. Back then, in the days of the dot-com bubble burst, it was hard for anyone but the boldest pioneers to really imagine that bandwidth would someday become as plentiful and reliable as it is today.
Of course, needs change over time. No single opportunity can exist indefinitely.
As a result, the entire backup industry has had to re-invent and re-align itself over the years in order to adapt to new trends in the way customers were using their data.
- In the early days of online backup, the main benefit was the promise of automation. Instead of hiring someone to change the tapes and ship them for storage at the end of each working day, a company could now perform this task more reliably by automating the entire process. Not only was this a great way to minimize costs, but it also eliminated the human error which was – at the time – a leading cause of critical data loss.
- As time progressed, the ways in which organizations were managing their data began to change. New regulations appeared, that placed strict rules on how corporate information could be handled. This marked the birth of a whole new class of online data protection services which were focused on security, encryption, electronic discovery, audit trails, and other features that are critical to regulatory compliance.
- Once the compliance problem seemed to have been solved, exponential data growth began to take over. Although storage prices were falling, companies were creating and sharing data at a much faster rate. Retention policies, compression, de-duplication, and archiving became an essential part of keeping storage costs under control.
- Within just the past few years, we’ve begun to see the growth of outsourcing and mobile computing. The old-fashioned “corporate office” is crumbling, as employees are choosing to telecommute or work on the road. Backing up hundreds of laptops – each containing invaluable corporate data – became a special IT challenge which could only be addressed by fully-automated network backups.
- Today, unplanned downtime is emerging as the hot buzzword. With services like Facebook and Twitter, our world is super-connected – and bad news travels incredibly fast. Clients also expect faster service. Gone are the days of waiting on hold after calling a 1-800 number. Today’s customers expect a self-service portal that will let them fix customer service issues instantly. That’s why business-critical servers often need to be brought back online within minutes of a disaster.
What will be the next big online backup trend? Who knows? But two things that we know are that change is coming and that the speed at which you’ll need to adapt will continue to increase.
Since backups are a core part of your organization’s information security, you want to avoid making any unnecessary changes to your backup routine in order to minimize the risk of potential mistakes. If backups aren’t a core part of your business, then they should be outsourced and automated through an expert with the knowledge and experience to keep you ahead of the latest trends.
These are just a few of the many reasons why online backup will continue to grow in popularity for years to come.