Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are facing an overwhelming amount of financial and non-financial exposure because of their inconsistent and sometime unprofessional data backup practices. In fact, most SMBs admit that they are at risk to being exploited by an outside force such as a spammer, hacker or unauthorized security breach.
Just look at the thousands of sites that are compromised and blacklisted by Google each day. Once a website owner has gone through the cleanup process, the reconsideration request typically takes between 2-24 hours (and the warning Google places in the site’s search result listings and before you visit their site is removed). This is disruptive enough, but the real business disruption is in cleaning up the site.
It is in the best interest of the web host to provide backup and recovery solutions to SMB so that disruption can be minimized and security maintained.
However, several business obstacles may stand in your way:
Issue #1: Access and Responsibility
Current backup solutions, such as control panel backups, eVault, RAID, NAS, etc., put most site owners and web hosts in a predicament when a recovery is needed. Who has the easiest access to the current backups? What if the webmaster set up the backups, but the site owner is contacting the web host for guidance? The site owner is already in a state of panic because something went wrong with their hosting account, and may feel powerless to do anything about it while they track down the right person for help.
As a web host, you have to prepare for this in many ways. First and foremost, the volume of instances of confused customers trying to access their backups. Second, the level of technical competency to carry out (oftentimes cryptic) procedures to determine what needs to be recovered, where it is located, and how to access it; the web host support team has now become a webmaster in addition to just hosting support.
If your hosting company works with resellers or webmasters, the situation could get more precarious. The support responsibility lies with the reseller, of course, however, the back- up solutions available to them at the server level are virtually inaccessible to the end-us- er. If the reseller is not able to resolve the incident quickly, they risk losing the end-user, which could ultimately impact the web host financially. Furthermore, the reseller may not have the technical acumen to truly manage the incident, so they will rely on you for sup- port. In the end, the web host still bears the burden of supporting the incident.
Issue #2: The Cost/Value Assessment
Backup solutions are essentially insurance against hacking, data corruption, accidental deletion, etc. In general, insurance is chosen based on a cost/value assessment that weighs the cost against the potential risk of having to make something “whole” again after an incident.
Managed backup and monitoring services use a proactive approach that gives the user peace of mind their accounts are protected against threats, and that if an incident occurs, a plan is in place to mitigate the damages and return the accounts to normal as quickly as possible.
Of course, managed services come at a premium, and also require the web host to allocate resources specifically to those managed accounts. As a result, managed services are not the best solution (cost) for a price-conscious user whose accounts can get by with a backup solution that can make them “whole” quickly (value).
If your hosting company works with resellers or webmasters, and even directly with end-users, recognize that the self-managed solutions you offer should be priced in a way that matches the level of service they provide. Of course, we still go back to the first problem of access and responsibility, which is part of the risk model. You may find that, after an incident, your customers’ backup needs didn’t meet their expectations. Perhaps the expectations weren’t set in the first place (like buying insurance ‘just because you need it’ without paying much attention to the type of coverage, claims process, etc.), but it doesn’t matter; the customer had a negative experience in a time of panic.
Issue #3: Response and Recovery Time
As we stated earlier, the need for backups is highest during times of crisis: hacking, which is on the rise, database corruption (which can stem from hacking), and accidental deletion.
End users who have direct access to their backups, and are competent enough to do a recovery, will do so quickly and with minimal negative impact on customer experience (the end-user’s experience as a customer of the web host, not the experience of their customers).
End users who have direct access to their backups, but are unaware of how to do a recovery, will require the support of the web host’s team. The web host may need to redirect resources better spent supporting infrastructure and security to assist an end-user that may not be able to explain their situation well enough to receive timely help and recovery. This delay will negatively impact the customer experience.
End users who work with resellers and webmasters may experience an added delay as their request is funneled through another line of support. Again, depending on the competence level of the reseller or webmaster, the web host’s support staff may be called in for assistance as well, creating further delay in recovery because of the lack of access end-users have to server-level backup solutions (that are typically used by webmasters and resellers). In the end, again, a negative customer experience that could eventually deteriorate the relationship between the webmaster or reseller and the web host.
A combination of proactivity, access, speed, and price would yield the optimum backup solution for both web hosts and end-users alike. The self-serve SaaS backup model is that solution.
Implementing a self-serve SaaS data backup solution, such as Dropmysite by Dropsuite, for your web hosting company can boost your revenue and help your business customers improve their threat response by providing website backup peace of mind.
“Data backup means more than just piece of mind, says Matthew Richards, Product Director at GoDaddy. “It’s the difference between a business failing and a business succeeding.”
Want to learn more about how reselling Dropsuite’s data backup products can reduce your costs, increase your profits and improve the satisfaction of your SMB customers?
Our knowledgeable sales associates are here to help. Contact: email@example.com or call +65 6779 5131.