Who hates shopping (for backup software)?

Shopping isn’t everyone’s favorite activity. And even those who enjoy shopping would most likely rather be perusing something fun—like a new car, new favorite pizza place, or new gaming system—rather than something as dull as backup software for your managed services provider (MSP) or business.

Software shopping can definitely be a chore—and typically must be done alongside your usual work tasks. The Blueprint recently posted a guide to shopping for software, and they offer some helpful tips. Let’s apply their five recommended considerations to the task of shopping for backup software.

  1. What does your company need?
    What types of data do you need to protect? Physical and virtual servers? Workstations? SaaS applications? Would you like to be able to protect all these types of data from a single dashboard? What recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) do you want to provide for your customers?
  2. Who will be using the software?
    Would you like to be able to entrust backup management to more junior members of your team, offloading what should be routine tasks from your more senior technicians? If so, then simplicity and ease of use matter.
  3. How quick and easy is it to set up?
    Will you have to set up an application server and host the backup app? These days, hosted SaaS backup solutions significantly ease the setup and ongoing application maintenance tasks.
  4. How flexible is it?
    Do your customers have varying data protection requirements? If so, you’ll want a backup product that can easily scale up or down to meet those needs.
  5. What’s the budget?
    Remember, backup software is often only the beginning. Will you also need to buy and provision local storage? If you want to keep a copy of your backups offsite for data recovery (DR) purposes, will you have to find a cloud storage provider? Or can you find an all-in-one solution that includes offsite storage?

The big question to keep in mind is: What do you want to be different this time around? Consider what was irritating or limiting about your previous solution. Was reliability an issue? Take the time to think through what you loved—and hated—about previous products.

Finally, what has changed since the last time you shopped for backup software? Don’t let the preconceptions of the past limit your current search. Chances are good you have more types of data, in more places, to protect than last time around, and you definitely have more options when it comes to backup targets and data storage. It’s not as simple as file/folder vs. image-based backup. There are more options to consider that may be a better fit. And of course, the business expectations around recovery times have certainly grown even stricter since the last time you were in the market.

Want another tool to ease the backup shopping chore? Check out the Buyer’s Guide to Data Protection.

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