Traditionally, companies have backed up their own data, on-site, with software and hardware purchased on their own. Although that's still a good approach, it's often best suited to large organizations with the IT staff to handle the headaches that can arise.
Companies with several hundred or fewer employees, however, are perfect candidates for considering online backup-that is, offloading the responsibility for storing key data onto another company, which conducts backups via a network connection. It's more reliable, less of a hassle and often less costly.
"If you create widgets better than your competitor, you'll see the effect. But doing backup better than your competitor doesn't necessarily give you a competitive advantage," said Arun Taneja, founder of Taneja Group, a storage consultancy. "So if one guy is doing it 5 percent better than the next guy, who cares? That's exactly the type of activity that makes sense to give to somebody else, as long as the service isn't outrageously more expensive than what it would cost to do it yourself."