Data in the Clouds: Why Enterprises Are Turning to Backup-as-a-Service Solutions

Maintaining data integrity and security has never been more important for enterprises. It makes sense, therefore, that many CIOs are turning to backup-as-a-service solutions to protect their data. Jonathan Bowl of Commvault discusses the thinking behind this… 

Over the past 18 months the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people out of offices, meaning a significant number of people have been working from home. Simultaneously, cybersecurity attacks have been on the rise. Between 2019 and 2020, ransomware attacks grew by 485%. Although security has always been vital, it is more important than ever for employers to prioritise implementing effective security measures.

With more than 8 out of 10 businesses implementing a form of hybrid working in the post-pandemic world, IDC predicts that 60% of data will be generated by employees at home by 2023.

In order to access any office-based systems from their homes, many remote workers have altered firewalls and access points. This means that the majority of data is now being produced outside of the corporate firewall, which has allowed for a spike in ransomware attacks against Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. Despite the general security of these applications, hackers can gain access through an end user’s compromised operation system. This then allows them to attack the cloud services themselves.

Secure Your Data

Security is never a one-off activity – it’s an ongoing process and it is vital for businesses to recognise that. Enterprises will only have limited success in simply being proactive and establishing the basic security measures to protect their data. IT environments should be routinely monitored so abnormalities can be spotted and resolved quickly. Organisations should also have the ability and appropriate services to be recovery-ready in case of data loss due to a ransomware attack.

However, many organisations consider their current backup solutions to be ineffective and costly. Traditionally, data is stored on-premises, on a local server set up at the business’ headquarters. However, these hard drives often have slow production rates, require significant maintenance, are costly and put businesses at risk of data loss.

Having data stored in a cloud backup removes the need to manually move data to off-site locations and rotate storage devices. It also shifts the responsibility of performing integrity checks and deduplication to the BaaS provider.

Jonathan Bowl
VP & General Manager, Northern EMEA, Commvault

headshot-johnthan-bowl- Commvault

The New Backup Solution to the Problem

Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) is a modern alternative to these traditional backup solutions. It removes the need for in-house methods as it runs on cloud-based providers. Organisations then purchase backup and recovery services from these providers. This makes BaaS the ideal solution for those who have limits on or do not have in-house IT infrastructure.

BaaS can connect systems to a private, public or hybrid cloud environment, depending on the enterprise’s existing backup strategy. Their data is then managed solely by the outside provider. Therefore, organisations that use BaaS solutions simply pay for the services of an external business.

BaaS Is Best

The primary advantage of BaaS compared to traditional on-premises data backup solutions is ease of management. Having data stored in a cloud backup removes the need to manually move data to off-site locations and rotate storage devices. It also shifts the responsibility of performing integrity checks and deduplication to the BaaS provider. This frees up the organisation’s time to focus on the running of their business, and thereby on making a profit.

BaaS removes the need for the physical components of backup, such as tape drives, servers and other hardware elements. These are expensive, high maintenance and finite. The average lifespan of a hardware server is six years, after which they need replacing.

Therefore, BaaS is also much more cost-effective. Cloud servers do not become obsolete, thus do not need replacing like hardware servers do. Data stored in the cloud also doesn’t require transportation. Organisations will, therefore, save on backup media, transportation of said media to remote locations for safekeeping, and on costs associated with managing backup systems.

The multiple levels of redundancy of a BaaS solution provides organisations with a greater degree of ease when recovery of data is required. This is because BaaS stores multiple copies of data in independent locations. If data was to be lost or deleted, backups are easily located and the information can be restored quickly, helping the company return to business as usual.

As a final benefit, certain BaaS vendors offer the service of providing the necessary data compliance to meet regulations. This includes the right to erasure and the ability to remove data along with the full content index. This feature also includes a bundle of ransomware protection, processes and services and enables users to backup from any cloud environment.

Choose the Cloud

With cloud-based backup solutions requiring less maintenance and being more cost-effective as well as having better security and reliability, the advantages of BaaS solutions make it the superior alternative. It is no longer advisable for most organisations to invest in on-premises data backup services, but to purchase BaaS solutions instead.


Jonathan Bowl
VP & General Manager, Northern EMEA, Commvault

Jonathan Bowl brings 20 years of experience in the technology industry as a business and sales leader responsible for establishing high performing sales teams specialising in cloud, IoT, big data, analytics, and emerging technologies such AI and machine learning. He joined Commvault from his previous role as Vice President and General Manager, Big Data Analytics & IoT at Hitachi Vantara, where he worked for nearly four years. During his career, Bowl has gained a wealth of experience developing successful growth strategies that utilise the power of big data analytics to continuously modernise the business.