ICS Data - What's best for your business - local backup or cloud backup?

What’s best for your business: local backup or cloud backup?

When deciding where to store your data, there’s a lot to consider. Just a decade or so ago, your options were limited to local backup only. Thanks to the emergence of the cloud and everything that comes with it, you now have a choice.

Before you rush into your decision, it’s worth understanding the pros and cons of both. The type you choose for your business will depend on the way you do business, as well as your mindset.

Cloud backup: the pros

One of the biggest pros of cloud backup is cost and flexibility. You can choose a plan that matches your current business needs and when you’re under or overspending, you don’t need to waste money to make a change. Other pros include:


The algorithms that protect cloud storage benefit from military-grade encryptions. Companies lose around $3.86 million on average per data loss, so heading for the best encryption provides reassurance.


When your data is in the cloud, it’s easy to access for you and your workforce. This makes your working practices more flexible. You and your employees can work remotely, access data on trips, and tackle work tasks at home using authorized devices.

Cloud backup: the cons

Like anything in the tech world, cloud backup comes with its downsides. Although the encryption is tight, there are hackers who can breakthrough. By using cloud storage, you’re opening yourself up to more of them when you use local storage. Other cons include:


Not only do you need an internet connection, you need one that’s strong. Internet downtime could result in business downtime.

Accumulative costs

While local backup commands a one-off storage fee, cloud backup requires ongoing payments. As a result, your costs are accumulating over time.

Local storage: the pros

Although the cloud comes with some attractive pros, local storage has plenty too. The main pro is that you’re not open to a world of hackers. Your data’s security is firmly in your hands, although that does mean the responsibility is too. Other pros include:

It’s accessible

If you can physically access your hard drive, the data is yours. You’re not relying on the internet and if you’re using an external hard drive, you don’t really need to worry about power outages.

It’s speedy

As you don’t need a rapid internet connection to back your data up, it could prove speedier than the cloud. However, this does depend on the state of your operating system too.

Local backup: the cons

The biggest downside to local backups is the lack of flexibility. If you’re happy to drag your hard drive everywhere, it remains flexible. If you have lots of data, the absence of cloud access from anywhere could prove frustrating. Other cons include:

Wasted investment

All local backup comes with an upfront investment that you can’t adjust. If you pay for too much, tough luck. In contrast, you can modify the cloud in line with your business’s needs.

Sudden failures

If an external hard drive fails without warning, you may lose your data forever. As a result, you might need to use more than one local backup source for each file. Additionally, local backup is vulnerable to human error, which is worth thinking about when you consider that 47% of data breaches are due to human error.

Which one should you choose?

Each type of backup comes with its advantages and disadvantages and they’re not always universal. For example, if you don’t use remote workers or expect to work away from the office, the cloud probably isn’t necessary. Similarly, if you want to assure your customers that their data is entirely in your hands, local backup allows you to do so.

As for the cloud, it makes accessing your business from anywhere possible, which you may need if you want to be flexible. It also allows you to scale without barriers, making it attractive if you’re planning big periods of growth.

Regardless of which one you prefer, the team at ICS Data is here to help. From managed IT servicesthrough to cloud hosting, we’re here to unravel your current data backup struggles. To learn more, contact us.