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Moving into the Cloud: Essential for Small Business Disaster Recovery

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SAN JOSE, Calif., June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — For small businesses that could be destroyed if hit by a natural disaster, moving into “the cloud” is becoming essential for survival.

With the string of natural disasters devastating many areas of the country over the past few weeks, the need for virtual data storage and technology management has never been more clear.

Ivanka Menken, founder and CEO of the international IT service framework company The Art of Service, said that business continuity — maybe even business survival — is at risk when all technology is in one location.

One of the most vulnerable parts of the business is backup storage. Backup tapes and external hard drives can be destroyed in a disaster.

“Online backup storage in the cloud is considered to be the better option,” Menken said. “It gives you access to your data no matter where you are. All you need is a secure Internet connection.”

According to a study from PricewaterhouseCoopers, 70 percent of small firms that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year. Despite the potentially devastating effects of data loss, too many small businesses don’t adequately protect themselves with a disaster recovery plan, Menken said.

The best cloud computing service providers offer a storage system, a file system and all applications necessary for a customer to have backup and disaster recovery.

Menken said that cloud-based disaster recovery is really about file and data storage.

Some people say that storage in the cloud is not safe, but according to Menken, that is somewhat irrelevant as up to 95 percent of any company’s data is not sensitive.

“Keep all the non-sensitive and non-super secret information in the cloud, and have a separate backup system for the data that you can’t keep in the cloud,” Menken said.

An important part of the process in selecting a cloud provider is determining where the company has its data centers. Is that area vulnerable to disaster? What kind of disaster recovery does the provider have in place?

“A number of cloud-based backup providers are based in northern Texas, northern Virginia and northern California, regions that are fairly safe from natural disasters like floods and tornados,” Menken said.

When businesses are hit by disaster, one of the most important functions that must continue is financial administration, said Menken, including payroll, account receivables and more. Storing legal documents (articles of incorporation, legal agreements, insurance policies, etc.) in the cloud can also be a smart strategy, she said.

About The Art of Service and Ivanka Menken

As a cutting-edge IT service framework company, The Art of Service is leading the way in providing high-end, client-focused books, toolkits and online and classroom education programs. It has served more than 800 corporate clients and 500,000 individual clients and students in 87 percent of the world’s countries. Ivanka Menken is the founder and CEO of The Art of Service, most recently spearheading the company’s Cloud Computing Certification Program that is becoming the industry benchmark. For more information, please visit http://www.theartofservice.net.

Photo: The Art of Service Founder and COO Ivanka Menken

 

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