Cloud Backup Technology Alluring to Small Businesses

The overwhelming majority of respondents to a new survey indicated they expect the demand for managed cloud backup services to increase in the next 12 months.

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Without the availability of reliable, affordable managed cloud backup solutions accompanied by first-rate technical support, channel businesses would be at a major competitive disadvantage, according to a survey from cloud backup specialist CloudBerry Lab of 434 IT solution resellers and managed service providers (MSPs).

Respondents were asked about their requirements regarding these solutions, as well as the major trends and factors impacting the decisions small and midsize businesses (SMBs) make when choosing the cloud for backup.

More than half (51 percent) of respondents said that they could not compete, or that it would be very difficult for them to compete, without cloud backup solutions in their portfolios—indicating managed cloud backup solutions are vital to profitability. Just 29 percent said that cloud backup accounted for a very small or insignificant percentage of revenues.

"Cloud backup is a very competitive market, and small business are mostly concerned about cost, reliability and security of the service they choose," CloudBerry Lab CTO Alexey Serkov told eWEEK. "Resellers and service providers should address these concerns to increase sales of cloud backup service."

The overwhelming majority of respondents, 79 percent, indicated that they expect the demand for managed cloud backup services to increase during the next 12 months, suggesting demand for cloud backup shows no signs of slowing.

While reliability is the key consideration, cost was also important to respondents. When asked what they require from backup solutions, resellers said reliability was the most important factor, followed closely by price.

However, the survey also indicated cost was not the only determining factor when selecting cloud providers.

Although major cloud providers are in a price war, resellers and MSPs said they are more concerned with the reliability of service, security and ease of file restore when selecting a cloud for their customers' data.

The survey revealed small businesses are also concerned with data access in the cloud; for SMBs that still have not adopted cloud backup, the location of data backups or the need to keep certain sensitive data on-site was identified as a major factor, followed closely by unavailable or slow backup due to a poor Internet connection.

Finally, the survey also indicated managed cloud backup is a gateway to up-selling services, as the number of resellers who use managed cloud backup to sell higher margin services outnumbered those who sell cloud backup as a one-off service by a three-to-one margin.

"Technology is moving to the cloud, meaning more and more data is generated in the cloud. This data also needs to be backed up. There are vendors on the market today that offer backup for cloud services, but I believe we'll see more of such cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-local backup solutions soon," Serkov said. "Also, the consistency of cloud backups is something that is often overlooked by many vendors. Our customers often tell us stories of how they failed to restore [some files] with their previous cloud backup solution due to an incomplete set of data in the cloud."