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Create a Game Plan to Implement Cloud Backup the Right Way

Optimize your backup initiative and mitigate the challenges of the cloud.

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  • International Facilities Management Association
  • American Health Care Association
  • 3 additional organizations contributed information to assist with the development of this solution set. Due to the sensitivity of the information, they requested confidentiality.
  • 150 individual professionals contributed information that assisted with the development of this solution set.

Your Challenge

  • Cloud adoption is frequently driven by hype rather than careful consideration of the best-fit solution.
  • IT is frequently rushed into cloud adoption without appropriate planning.
  • Organizations frequently lack appropriate strategies to deal with cloud-specific backup challenges.
  • Insufficient planning for cloud backup can exacerbate problems rather than solving them, leading to poor estimates of the cost and effort involved, budget overruns, and failure to meet requirements.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • The cloud isn’t a magic bullet, but it tends to deliver the most value to organizations with specific use cases – frequently smaller organizations who are looking to avoid the cost of building or upgrading a data center.
  • Cloud backup does not necessarily reduce backup costs so much as it moves them around. Cloud backup distributes costs over a longer term. Organizations need to compare the difference in CAPEX and OPEX to determine if making the move makes financial sense.
  • The cloud can deliver a great deal of value for organizations who are looking to reduce the operational effort demanded by an existing tape library for second- or third-tier backups.
  • Data security risks in some cases may be overstated, depending on what on-premises security is available. However, targeting backup to the cloud introduces other risks that need to be considered before implementation is given the green light.

Impact and Result

  • Understand if cloud backup is the right solution for actual organizational needs.
  • Make an informed decision about targeting backup to the cloud by considering the big picture TCO and effort level involved in adoption.
  • Have a ready strategy to mitigate the most common challenges with cloud adoption projects.
  • Develop a roadmap that lays out the required step-by-step to implement cloud backup.

Research & Tools

1. Understand the benefits and risks of targeting backups to the cloud

Build a plan to mitigate the risks associated with backing data up in the cloud.

2. Determine if the cloud can meet the organization's data requirements

Assess if the cloud is a good fit for your organization’s backup data.

3. Mitigate the Challenges of Backing Up to the Cloud

Build a cloud challenge contingency plan.

4. Build a Cloud Backup Implementation Roadmap

Perform a gap analysis to determine cloud backup implementation initiatives.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

Call #1 - Evaluate the business case for cloud backup

Start your project off on the right foot. Discuss the value of the cloud and identify realistic objectives for your backup environment implementation. Determine whether the cloud is the solution to achieve them.

Call #2 - Identify candidate data sets for cloud backup and assess opportunities and readiness

Identify candidate data sets for cloud backup. Determine RPOs and RTOs for candidate data sets. Discuss the potential value of the cloud for your candidate data sets. Evaluate organizational readiness for targeting backup at the cloud. Pinpoint best-fit data sets.

Call #3 - Mitigate the challenges of backing up the cloud

Select the cloud provider model that best fits your needs. Identify probably risks and estimate their likelihood. Develop a contingency plan for likely challenges. Evaluate the financial argument for – or against – cloud backup.

Call #4 - Build a roadmap to your cloud backup implementation

Perform a gap analysis to determine implementation initiatives. Construct a roadmap for your cloud backup implementation.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Evaluate the business case for targeting backup at the cloud

The Purpose

  • Understand how cloud backup will affect backup and recovery processes
  • Determine backup and recovery objectives
  • Assess the value proposition of cloud backup

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A high-level understanding of the benefits of moving to cloud backup
  • A best-fit analysis of cloud backup in comparison to organizational needs




Document stakeholder goals for cloud backup

  • Documented stakeholder goals

Document present backup processes

  • Current backup process diagrams

Document ideal backup processes

  • Ideal backup process diagram

Review typical benefits of cloud backup

Module 2: Identify candidate data sets and assess opportunities and readiness

The Purpose

  • Identify candidate data sets for cloud-based backup
  • Determine RPOs and RTOs for candidate data sets
  • Identify potential value specific to each data set for targeting backup at the cloud
  • Evaluate organizational readiness for targeting backup at the cloud

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Documented recovery objectives
  • Recommendations for cloud backup based on actual organizational needs and readiness




Document candidate data sets

  • Validated list of candidate data sets

Determine recovery point and recovery time objectives for candidate data sets

  • Specific RPOs and RTOs for core data sets

Identify potential value of cloud-based backup for candidate data sets

  • An assessment of the value of cloud backup for data sets

Discuss the risk and value of cloud-based backup versus an on-premises solution

  • A tool-based recommendation for moving backups to the cloud

Evaluate organizational readiness for cloud backup


Identify data sets to move to the cloud

Module 3: Mitigate the challenges of backing up to the cloud

The Purpose

  • Understand different cloud provider models and their specific risks
  • Identification of how cloud backup will affect IT infrastructure and personnel
  • Strategize ways to mitigate the most common challenges of implementing cloud backup
  • Understand the client/vendor relationship in cloud backup
  • Understand the affect of cloud backup on data security

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Verified best-fit cloud provider model for organizational needs
  • Verified strategy for meeting the most common challenges for cloud-based backup
  • A strong understanding of how cloud backup will change IT
  • Strategies for approaching vendors to ensure a strong footing in negotiations and clear expectations for the client/vendor relationship




Discuss the impact of cloud backup on infrastructure and IT environment

  • Cloud risk assessment

Create a cloud backup risk contingency plan

  • Documented contingency strategies for probabe risks

Document compliance and security regulations

  • Negotiation strategies for dealing with vendors

Identify client and vendor responsibilities for cloud backup

  • A committed go/no-go decision on the value of cloud backup weighted against the effort of implementation

Discuss and document the impact of cloud backup on IT roles and responsibilities


Compile a list of implementation intiatives


Evaluate the financial case for cloud backup

Module 4: Build a cloud backup implementation roadmap

The Purpose

  • Create a road map for implementing cloud backup

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Determine any remaining gaps between the present state and the ideal state for cloud backup
  • Understand the steps and time frame for implementing cloud backup
  • Allocate roles and responsibilities for the implementation intitiative
  • A validated implementation road map




Perform a gap analysis to generate a list of implementation intiatives

  • A validated gap analysis

Prioritize cloud backup initiatives

  • A prioritized list of cloud backup initiatives

Assess risks and dependencies for critical implementation initiatives

  • Documented dependencies and risks associated with implementation tasks

Assign ownership over implementation tasks

  • A roadmap for targeting backups at the cloud

Determine road map time frame and structure


Populate the roadmap with cloud backup initiatives

Member Testimonials

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After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.




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Agriculture Financial Services Corporation

Guided Implementation




County of Tulare

Guided Implementation




Mother Parkers Coffee & Tea Inc.

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Wilfrid Laurier University

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