So you are now familiar with the differences between on-premises and hosted software solutions and you have decided that hosted software seems like a great fit for your business – yet you have concerns over the safety of your data. You are not alone in being worried, but you shouldn’t have to be.
Most hosted software solutions are very safe and very stable. Of course, I cannot speak for all the software out there; ultimately it is up to you to have an in-depth discussion with the vendor in question to determine how they keep your data safe. There are, however, a number of things you should look for in a hosted solution and the data centre used by the vendor:
Stated server up-time
The vendor in question should be comfortable stating the historical reliability of their servers. Down-time should be rare for a reliable system so a good level is somewhere north of 99% up-time.
In order to ensure the highest level of security possible for your data, there should be a number of fail-safes in place. These can include multiple power supplies, processors and harddrives per server and multiple data back-up locations. A bonus is the option to keep a copy of your data in-house as well.
A proper hosted solution will employ back-up servers that immediately take over if one were to fail. This means that in the event of total server failure there is always another server to take over the task of running your business.
Data Centre Security
One of the biggest benefits of employing a hosted solution is that your data is often far safer than it ever would be if you kept it on-location at your place of business. A good data centre will offer multiple levels of security (BioMetric, PIN code, Access card etc.) and 24/7 monitoring to ensure the servers and data are secure. Most small/medium businesses will not have this level of security in their place of business.
Back-up power generators should be employed in the data centre as well as state-of-the-art fire detection and suppression systems. The implied bonus with a hosted solution is that, if your entire business was to encounter a disaster such as a fire, your system would still be accessible and all your data would be safely running in the data centre.
Ultimately it is your comfort level with these new technologies that will determine whether or not a hosted solution is agreeable to you, however, data security and reliability should not be a concern as most data centres provide a far bigger safety net than most in-house implementations.