The annual arrival of World Backup Day on the day before April Fool’s Day may not get the level of recognition it deserves, but it does provide a useful construct for managed service providers (MSPs) to draw attention to an issue that is continuously overlooked, and still underappreciated, even in the age of ransomware.

Of course, one primary reason backup is being ignored more than ever is the cloud itself. There’s a general expectation that anything stored in the cloud will somehow be magically backed up on its own accord. In reality, data stored in the cloud doesn’t automatically back itself up for free. Nor is there much control over the backup and recovery process at a granular level.

A recent survey of 1,828 executives, individual contributors, and team managers with responsibility for cloud infrastructure finds more than three quarters of respondents concur that granular restore capabilities for Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams is important to them. And yet, the percentage of IT organizations that can recover data at a granular level using any cloud service is relatively low.

Most of the focus on World Backup Day is on ransomware

Organizations of all sizes are anxious to protect their data from what has arguably become the greatest scourge of cybersecurity. However, not nearly as many organizations are as focused on the recovery process. The average end user judges an IT organization not on whether their data is protected, but instead how long it takes to be recovered.

In an era defined by instant gratification, there’s a greater appreciation for both recovery point and recovery time objectives. Most end users, however, don’t describe what they really want in those terms. It’s more a simple matter of needing to be able to access whatever is required as soon as possible.

Cutting through ransomware noise

Every IT vendor that offers any type of data protection platform or service is always warning customers about the perils of ransomware. As a result, the end customer at this point has pretty much become inured to such warnings. If they were going to be proactive about ransomware threats they would most likely have done something about it by now. What many don’t appreciate is how different the recovery experience actually is across rival platforms and services.

Arguably, a seamless recovery experience is why some organizations might be willing to pay extra for a managed service. After all, every minute they are waiting for data to be recovered amounts to lost productivity. They may be able to focus on some other tasks while waiting for data to become available but very few customers want that decision to be forced upon them simply because the specific data they need now isn’t available.

It’s not likely World Backup Day will become World Data Recovery Day any time soon, but it probably should. It’s always better to focus on the outcome the customer wants. In the case of data protection that’s not so much about what process is employed to protect their data, as much as it is how readily it can be accessed from the moment they realize there’s a problem.

Photo: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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