Data Center

Is Data Protection a Responsibility That’s Worth Your Team’s Time?

Is data protection a responsibility that’s worth your team’s time? Or could that be handled by someone else, so your team can innovate?

When it comes to information technology, there are currently two competing factions that are completely at odds with one another. One side is fully invested in the idea of IT outsourcing. They believe that data protection, although necessary, has very little to do with the core business functionality. Just as organizations commonly outsource janitorial services or building maintenance, there’s a belief among this faction that all IT services should also be outsourced, thereby allowing the organization to focus solely on its core business functions.

The opposing side believes that the idea of outsourcing an organization’s data protection efforts is ludicrous. An organization’s ability to quickly and completely recover from a disaster is often the determining factor as to whether the organization will still be in business in a year. Outsourcing something as critical as data protection means putting your organization’s fate into the hands of someone who doesn’t care about your business. This faction’s basic philosophy might best be summarized by the old adage: “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”

Clearly, both sides have some compelling arguments. On one hand, by outsourcing data protection, an organization can make itself more agile. Outsourcing data protection may also lower the organization’s costs. On the other hand, managing data protection in-house gives the organization complete control over its data protection initiatives. It also prevents the organization’s very existence from being dependent on a third party doing its job correctly.

So, is it better to outsource all of your organization’s data protection functions, or is it better to handle those functions yourself? Like so many other things in life, it might not be in your best interest to fully embrace either option. A better choice might be to take an approach that falls somewhere in between.

The problem with outsourcing is that it’s often synonymous with checking out. Consider, for instance, an organization that decides to outsource its janitorial services. Does someone in the company monitor what chemicals the janitorial service cleans with? Is anyone micromanaging the vacuuming of the office each night? Probably not. As long as the office appears to be clean, it’s unlikely that anyone will question the janitorial service’s way of doing things.

When it comes to your online backups, it’s important to strike a balance between micromanaging the operations and completely abdicating any sort of responsibility. After all, it’s important to know what’s going on with your backups.

Given the critical nature of your backups, it would be a bad idea to simply hand over backup operations to a random cloud provider. There are a number of things that you should look for when evaluating a provider. One such consideration is service-level agreements that meet your needs. You should also look for frequent reporting, and management visibility through an online portal. These capabilities can go a long way toward allowing an organization to check on their backups on an as-needed basis, while also instilling confidence that the provider is backing up data according to the organization’s needs.