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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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.


  • 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.

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Get to Action

  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 Implementation icon Guided Implementation

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

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

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Document stakeholder goals for cloud backup
  • Documented stakeholder goals
1.2 Document present backup processes
  • Current backup process diagrams
1.3 Document ideal backup processes
  • Ideal backup process diagram
1.4 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

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Document candidate data sets
  • Validated list of candidate data sets
2.2 Determine recovery point and recovery time objectives for candidate data sets
  • Specific RPOs and RTOs for core data sets
2.3 Identify potential value of cloud-based backup for candidate data sets
  • An assessment of the value of cloud backup for data sets
2.4 Discuss the risk and value of cloud-based backup versus an on-premises solution
  • A tool-based recommendation for moving backups to the cloud
2.5 Evaluate organizational readiness for cloud backup
2.6 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

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Discuss the impact of cloud backup on infrastructure and IT environment
  • Cloud risk assessment
3.2 Create a cloud backup risk contingency plan
  • Documented contingency strategies for probabe risks
3.3 Document compliance and security regulations
  • Negotiation strategies for dealing with vendors
3.4 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
3.5 Discuss and document the impact of cloud backup on IT roles and responsibilities
3.6 Compile a list of implementation intiatives
3.7 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

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Perform a gap analysis to generate a list of implementation intiatives
  • A validated gap analysis
4.2 Prioritize cloud backup initiatives
  • A prioritized list of cloud backup initiatives
4.3 Assess risks and dependencies for critical implementation initiatives
  • Documented dependencies and risks associated with implementation tasks
4.4 Assign ownership over implementation tasks
  • A roadmap for targeting backups at the cloud
4.5 Determine road map time frame and structure
4.6 Populate the roadmap with cloud backup initiatives

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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 road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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