There are all sorts of “backups” that help get you out of various situations. Think of the spare tire in your trunk or the extra pieces of webbing in a climbing anchor. If you’ve ever been rock climbing, you know that it’s essential to build redundancies into your anchors, that way if one part fails, you’ve got another part as a backup.
There are various reasons for having backups. In climbing, a backup can save your life, but with data, a backup can save your business. That said, let’s step back and count down the top five reasons why businesses need a proper data backup solution.
People are not infallible. They make mistakes, and actually, they make them quite often. Emails containing viruses are accidentally opened every day and important files are often mistakenly deleted. There’s no reason to fear these issues if you take frequent incremental snapshots of your systems. You can simply restore to a snapshot taken before the virus happened. Or you can recover the file from a time before it was deleted. It’s really easy to protect from the little things and there’s the added benefit of being ready for the big things as well.
Many, if not most businesses are required to keep business records for an extended period. This is either for tax purposes or because of various regulations. You might just need to look at what was going on a few years ago. It’s easy to assume that your computers have you covered just because they’ve got your last few years’ worth of information on them. But as you might know by now, having one copy is generally a huge mistake. Insuring that you’ve got an offsite backup of critical client information can really save you if something goes wrong locally. The IRS and regulatory commissions really don’t care that you had a data disaster. All it means to them is that you’re not compliant and they can fine you.
In a previous article, we discussed the ways in which backups can actually be a competitive advantage. In the untimely event of a disaster, the first business to get back up and running will take all the business of those that aren’t back on their feet. As we’ll discuss in a moment, not having a plan can mean your doors close for good. Proper planning means that your doors stay open to those that worked with businesses that couldn’t survive data disaster.
A 2007 University of Texas study showed that 43 percent of businesses that suffer major data loss never reopen. Many of these companies end up closing their doors for good within two years of a major data loss. And even large data loss scenarios aren’t always the result of a disaster. Human hands are very capable of destroying a business through silly mistakes or oversights. Don’t think Mother Nature is always responsible. Simply backing up data and having an effective backup and disaster recovery plan in place can help mitigate these types of threat. You can be one of the surviving businesses if you think ahead.
The first rule of doing work is “do it right the first time.” If you suffer a minor failure and don’t have backups, you may be able to recover certain things, but you never know what those “certain things” will be. In almost any case, you’ll have a boat-load of work to redo whether it’s setting systems up all over again or recreating spreadsheets you or your employees have been working on for months. Worse yet, if you suffer a major data loss, you could feasibly end up re-doing everything you’ve ever done—that’s a situation few companies survive.