You, as an IT professional, always want everything to happen according to plan. You want to arrive at your desk in the morning, have your coffee, do your job and have everything go along smoothly. When you design a project, you strive to avoid complications, limitations, hurdles, and hassles.

If you are like most human beings, you crave control. Defined as “the belief that one has the ability to make a difference in the course or the consequences of some event or experience; often helpful in dealing with stress”, control helps you deal with anxiety — and in many circumstances — avoid it altogether.

Being in control is also important when you plan improvements to your IT infrastructure. You are the one that should make decisions based on your experience and business needs, not based on restrictions and limitations of software, hardware, or services.

Imagine that dark day finally arriving. Your most powerful server — your virtualization host, which runs all the important virtual machines (VMs) in your company — is down. No lights. No fans. Nada. Zilch. Nothing.

But, you're ready. You have standby temporary hardware and VM backups. You have everything under control – or do you?

Let's take a closer look.

Right now, the average individual owns 3.64 devices — smartphones, tablets, and laptops — and the number will rise to 4.3 devices per person by 2020. At the same time, the average employee in the U.S. uses at least three devices per day for work activities. More than ever, your IT department is facing the reality of a multi-device world with employees constantly on the go and working anytime, anywhere on any device..

Cloud technologies are rapidly becoming a stable go-to option when it comes to implementing IT services and systems. The advantages are clear — no hardware to manage; no network to expand; no upfront costs; the ability to scale, and so on. This is why 78 percent of companies are either using or implementing cloud solutions.

But, a whopping 80 percent of these organizations have lost data in the cloud – including the recent data loss that customers of SalesForce.com just experienced.

The reason is scary. The cloud is often perceived as being above and beyond normal IT operations. It’s almost as if strict data governance standards, corporate regulations, and business continuity policies should not apply to the cloud.

When a disaster strikes and the production servers go down, the most important device in your server room is actually the clock on the wall.

Every hour of downtime costs your organization money. For enterprises, the downtime can cost more than $1 million per hour, and even for small businesses it could push well beyond $20,000 an hour. Quite literally, in a disaster recovery situation, time is money and every second counts.

Even if you have complete disk-image backups of your entire server, you need to restore the system by moving the data from backup storage to your production hardware. Your server recovery time is proportional to the size of the backup – and it can be hours.

Most computer users understand the value of their personal and family data. Digital photos, videos, scanned financial and legal documents, homework, and email archives have a tremendous emotional and fiscal value. But most people still don’t fully understand the threats against their data from human error, failed hardware, malicious websites, and ransomware.

Seeking to find the best solutions out there, we were curious which tools IT Pros and enthusiasts would recommend for protecting personal data and privacy, and recently published a summary of recommendations in CIO online.

Complicated? Absolutely not. However, before we get to the answer, let me give you a real life example.

Let’s say you want to buy a car. You would think about its use first, right? On weekdays, you need to commute to work. On weekends, you like to venture further, and “get a little mud on your tires” by going off-road.

Would you get yourself a low-riding, road-scratching cruiser? No. It won’t get more than few hundred feet off-road. What about a rugged, pumped-up off-road ATV-like machine? No again. You'll lose more than your patience as it would be very uncomfortable driving back and forth to work. So, buy two vehicles? Well, apart from the costs, you would need double the parking, double the maintenance, essentially double everything.

So, you make the most logical decision and get something that can do both – on-road and off-road.

We are all too familiar with the concept of hidden costs. You work with a supplier and/or vendor, and it looks like their published pricing matches your budget – and everything goes well.

You implement the system, and it works – at first. Then you realize there are limitations, and you have to spend more than you originally budgeted. Your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) has just risen to a very different figure than you expected.

What happened? Well, there were unseen fees, solution shortcomings, charges or the licensing models that you did not take into account. The list goes on.

This is the first in a series of Acronis blogs that will talk about potential hidden costs you need to be aware of when implementing backup solutions.

Your organization is starting a IT Disaster Recovery Planning project, and you have established your planning committee that includes key decision makers from various departments.

But, before any actual IT disaster recovery planning can commence, the committee needs to understand the complete picture when it comes to handling a crisis. This includes everything that could be affected by a disaster, including critical business processes and functions, as well as the probabilities of different type types of disasters and their potential impact to the business.

In short, the committee needs to conduct a risk assessment analysis and audit first, including the following:

Why Do You Really Need Backup?

For you, like for many IT professionals, backup is time-consuming, and very often, simply a boring task. Backup should be simple, right? Take your data and create a copy somewhere else in case you lose the original. Yet, you have to spend time and effort to find the best solution, implement it, manage and monitor it, report to your manager – and do numerous other things with backup storage, hardware and the network – all just to backup.

You think to yourself: “All of this effort just so I can restore a file or a system some day?”

Well, there is more to it than that!

So, why do you really back up?

Backup is About More than Restore

Of course, restore is an essential function of your backup solution – maybe even the cornerstone. But restoring servers, files and workstations is not the end game – not even close.