Sounds crazy, right? Almost all our clients have a hard time believing that statement the first time they hear it. Since they have trusted all of their critical IT applications to the Cloud, they believe cloud data protection is just part of their package: that “someone” is watching over their applications to ensure they run perfectly and safely.
Unfortunately, that’s 100% totally wrong. In fact, this belief in automatic data protection in the cloud can and will bite you harder than you can imagine.
The Data Protection You Really Get
Here’s an example. Recently, I took a call from a prospect about managed services, and after we talked for a little while, I asked about his business continuity process. He assured me everything was handled by his various cloud providers and his data was safe. I replied, “Call one of them and ask specifically about data backup.” He was curious enough and said he would.
A few hours later, I got a call and the prospect was in a bit of a panic. His Cloud provider said that backup services were not included in his package, but they could add cloud data protection. The vendors follow up question was “Who is going to be the point of contact to get error messages and verify the backup was working?”
My prospect was stunned. He explained to the Cloud provider he assumed they would be the point of contact. Of course, they said no. Their business provided the service and he needed someone responsible to check whether the backups were in place and verify whether the cloud data protection was working according to his needs. The Cloud provider offered cloud capabilities that could solve his IT needs, but did not offer a service that verified everything was working and he was properly protected.
Imagine my prospect’s surprise at thinking his data was safe, when in fact it was not. He was very upset at the Cloud provider for not informing him sooner. They had assumed he knew what he was ordering. The level of cloud data protection he was receiving was clearly spelled out in his contract. My prospect quickly understood no one was watching over his critical data and processes. He was on his own.
Backup Rarely Comes Standard
Unfortunately, the situation got worse for my prospect. I also explained that his features in Office365 was a great system, but he should have someone managing his backup for email. My prospect responded with “But surely Microsoft can recover email forever. It’s just Exchange in the Cloud and their cloud is huge… ” I said yes, but even Office 365 has limitations and if he was not aware of those limitations, he could easily have issues recreating critical data.
Plus, Exchange in the cloud still needed someone to setup email addresses, control security, help with desktop applications, etc. Again, moving the technology to the cloud did not remove the need for a person to constantly manage the application. The cloud was definitely a better delivery mechanism, but people still had to be involved.
Who Handles Cloud Data Protection & Backups
The Cloud is a great technology and our clients use it every minute of the day, but as with all technology, the Cloud needs proper care and nurturing. Without such attention you will lose data and business productivity, the same as if your technology was onsite.
That is the value of a managed service provider.