Backing up Google Apps: A Smart Idea or a Needed Service?

As companies move their systems and data from on-premise servers into cloud computing solutions, companies maintain control of their data.  Control over the systems that house the data, however, belongs to the cloud provider.  The same is true for businesses moving to Google Apps.

When businesses move to Google Apps, they are trusting Google’s fault-tolerant, grid-based architecture to run with any disruptions due to hardware or software failures.  But a reliable system cannot prevent all forms of data loss.

  • 75% of incidents involving sensitive data lossare caused by human error, according to the IT Policy Compliance Group, as reported in PC World.
  • 32% of data loss is due to user error, according to Gartner surveys, cited by the SANS Institute.
  • 70% of companies go out of business after a major data loss, according to DTI as cited by the SANS Institute.

While Google protects you from data loss due to system failure, Google cannot protect you from data loss due to user error (or malicious act).

Nor can Google protect you from data loss or corruption caused by third party applications. These applications pose new and different risks as these application range from integrated applications installed through the Google Apps cPanel to tablet and smart phone apps users may install themselves on personal devices.  In the emerging world of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), monitoring and managing third party applications is a challenge.

Given the risks, backing up your data in Google Apps seems smart, but is it necessary and worth the expense?

If information is lost or damaged, the cost can be staggering.  Lost contract amendments may prevent a business from getting paid in full; Missing emails can create customer service nightmares;  Corrupt data can cause employees and customers to lose confidence in your business.

And beyond tangible losses, the cost of recovery adds up quickly.  Losing a day’s worth of work costs more than the lost day.  Recovery takes time and resources and disrupt your normal business activities.  A loss of one day of work that takes one day to recovery, actually costs your business 3 to 5 days of lost productivity.

In comparison, protecting your data in Google Apps from user error and third party applications costs between $3 and $8 per user per month.  Given the value of your data, the cost and impact of lost data, and the cost of recovery, backing up your data in Google Apps is an affordable insurance policy.

Affordable protection for your data is a service you should want and probably need.

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