Cloud-Based Backup Gaining Favor with SMBs: Report

A Forrester Research survey finds midmarket companies are increasingly turning to cloud computing solutions.

Small to midsize businesses are beginning to move toward cloud-based backup (as opposed to traditional technologies) to protect their company data, according to a Forrester Research survey whose goal was to discover the drivers for the move to cloud-based recovery tech versus traditional on-premises solutions.

The report, commissioned by cloud-basked backup specialist Asigra, found that 5 percent of survey respondents (SMBs) indicated they use cloud-based backup today and 38 percent plan to employ cloud backup within two years, while 68 percent of respondents said they plan to move toward cloud-based backup to reduce costs. Nearly half (48 percent) said they are moving to cloud-backup because they are more comfortable with the security of their data in these new environments. Speed of implementation/deployment was also cited (32 percent) as the reason for moving to the cloud.

Forrester researchers noted while SMBs have benefited from on-premises backup/recovery solutions, they now realize that backup-as-a-service can contribute even more to their objectives of lowering their costs and improved assurance and support. As a result, going forward, the fastest growth in the highly active backup/recovery market will be solutions in the form of a managed service, the report predicted.

Survey results indicated that the growth in more efficient data backup platforms is most acute in SMBs because they view their computer systems and data as invaluable assets. "SMBs have caught up to their large enterprise brethren in recognizing that their data is the lifeblood of their companies," the report noted. "They realize that users will always be lax when it comes to backing up their data. Regardless of policy, users simply cannot be counted on to back up their data on a regular basis."

SMBs also said they want to free up their IT resources to focus on growth and core competencies and free up their limited IT resources from administrative tasks in order to focus on outbound (customer-facing) initiatives. For value-added resellers (VARs), this trend toward cloud-based backup offers new opportunities, the report noted.

Channel partners are resonating to the backup/recovery managed services opportunity. The demand for cloud-based data storage, backup and recovery has vaulted that market to a lead position in terms of channel partners' interest, the report said. "More than one quarter of channel partners are reselling cloud-based services offered by vendors and MSPs today, and another 30 percent have plans to do so, thereby enabling them to add the annuity revenue streams represented by cloud offerings to their portfolio."