Environmental Flexibility: Yet Another Great Reason to Back Up the Data You Maintain in Cloud Apps to Your Own Data Center
As we’ve noted in the two previous posts in this series, you are responsible for protecting the data your company maintains in cloud-based applications like Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce and Google Apps. Many IT organisations understandably assume that these large, reputable vendors take on the responsibility for securing and backing up their customers’ data — but, unfortunately, this is incorrect.
In my first post in this series, I pointed out that one key reason to back up your data in cloud apps to a data vault you control is for recoverability. While many cloud app vendors play up the “availability” of your data in their applications, you also need to be concerned with “recoverability” of your data if it is corrupted, accidentally deleted or otherwise lost. The Office 365s and Salesforces don’t promise you’ll be able to restore lost data.
In the second post, I pointed out an equally important reason to back up your cloud-app data rather than leaving it to the cloud vendor: It is the only way to ensure your organisation control of your data at all times, even after you end your subscription with the cloud service.
Here is a third and I believe equally valid reason to back up your Office 365 or other cloud-app data: Environmental flexibility.
Today’s IT environments are heterogeneous. I’m not referring to operating systems or types of servers, but rather the environments themselves. Companies have servers in their own data centers, servers running in co-location facilities, virtual servers hosted by third-party cloud providers, mobile devices of all shapes and sizes, and a wide range of SaaS tools. It’s important to maintain flexibility and agility in your IT environment — and this is simply impossible when your third-party hosting providers are essentially holding you captive.
When you have control over all of your data, regardless of where it resides, you have the ability to move IT systems between on-premise environments to Infrastructure-as-a-Service environments to SaaS environments, and vice versa. If you surrender control of your data to these third-party providers, you are sacrificing the portability of your systems and leaving your company vulnerable to the threat of vendor lock-in. This can become particularly problematic if your relationship with a vendor begins to deteriorate.
Flexibility is key to the success of IT management in the future. Decisions about locations and vendors should remain in your control. By maintaining possession of your data all times, you have more freedom to choose where and with whom your systems reside.
Regional Sales Manager, Canada for KeepItSafe