Here’s What a Decade of Experience in the Cloud Backup Industry Tells Me That We Should Expect Next
As the founder of an IT Services business that I ran for almost 10 years, I’ve seen the cloud undergo a major evolution. It began as a great conceptual delivery vehicle for outsourced IT services, which most companies were too scared to try in the mid-2000s. Today it has gained widespread acceptance, if not yet universal adoption. Some aspects of IT are more cloud-friendly than others, and because backup makes intuitive sense for the cloud, it was an easy service for businesses to try. As a result, the cloud backup industry was one of the early beneficiaries of cloud service mass adoption.
For evidence, just look at these statistics from a 2015 Spiceworks report, based on the online community’s poll of thousands of IT professionals:
• 61% have already adopted cloud services in their organization
• 41% of those using cloud services are using cloud backup and recovery services
• Of IT pros using cloud services at organizations with fewer than 19 employees, 60% use cloud backup and recovery services
• Online backup and recovery was the number one cloud service IT pros planned to implement in the next six months
• 14% of the average cloud services budget is devoted to online backup and recovery
• 14% of all IT pros surveyed planned to add new online backup and recovery services in 2015
I’ve seen many changes in the cloud backup space since my own company began selling these services in 2006, and I’ve paid close attention to the trends ever since. Here are my predictions for where we’re headed over the next few years.
1. Cloud backup will replace traditional backup as the standard data protection strategy
I feel pretty confident about this one! As the statistics above show, it’s already happening. And there’s a reason for this trend: It works well. Ask any IT pro if they enjoy managing data backup. They will quickly shout, “No way!” or some other phrase that means the same but that I can’t publish here. Data backup is a huge, thankless hassle — and that’s before we even discuss the task of restoring the data.
Cloud backup technology is finally effective and reliable, the price points for data storage and Internet bandwidth are finally affordable, and there are many competent service providers to choose from. Managing data backup in-house just doesn’t make sense for many small to mid-size companies anymore. Expect this trend to continue.
2. Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service will replace cloud backup
We’re already seeing indications of this. By the way, Disaster Recovery as-a-Service (DRaaS) refers to a complete data protection solution — not just backing up data into the cloud, but also providing a server failover capability where companies can actually spin up their live servers in a cloud provider’s environment during a crisis situation, and provide access to those systems for their users indefinitely.
An October 2015 research report by ESG claimed that 35% of mid-sized companies’ production applications can tolerate either “no downtime ever” or “less than 15 minutes per outage.” The only way to achieve that level of uptime is with a DRaaS service — you simply can’t get there with a cloud backup solution alone. As a result, 44% of mid-sized organizations are using DRaaS in some way, and another 39% are either planning to implement it or are interested in doing so.
As time goes on, can you imagine companies actually relaxing their downtime requirements? As with everything else in technology, expectations will only go up.
The good news is that most cloud backup service providers have recognized this changing expectation and now offer DRaaS options in their portfolio. This trend will continue and will soon become the standard. Which is a nice segue way into my third prediction….
Check back for Part 2 of this blog article for my third, fourth and fifth predictions for the future of the cloud backup industry.
Regional Sales Manager, Canada for KeepItSafe