Data is an integral part of most businesses. From disappearing accounts to corrupted client databases, a loss of data can be an unmitigated disaster for any business, but for a small business it can be fatal. Because of this, it is always sensible to have data backup procedures in place to prevent a loss of data from causing you financial loss.
And if you already have some kind of backup system in place, it is a good time to consider how effective it actually is—preferably before the worst happens and you lose everything.
Data can be lost in a variety of ways. Some of them are down to human error whereas others could be considered an ‘act of God’. But whatever the reason, you had better hope you have a good backup system before the worst happens.
- Technology Failure – A loss of data is very often caused by the failure of computer equipment. Hard drives fall over and computers suffer catastrophic meltdowns. This scenario would not be a problem if the data on the device had been backed up beforehand, but invariably this is not the case and everything is irretrievably lost forever.
- Employee Accidents – Sometimes an employee does something daft like drop a cup of coffee all over their laptop, thus causing it to fizzle and die. Another potential scenario is if an employee leaves their laptop on the commuter train.
- Office Disasters – major disasters such as fire or floods are not that common, but they can and do happen. Insurance cover should protect you from a loss of data due to such unfortunate events, but having an effective backup system in place is a better bet.
A lot of small businesses don’t place much importance on backing up data. They leave it up to the individual employee and assume that each person is looking after their own work. Of course some people do back up their work regularly, either on to a memory stick, or perhaps using an external hard drive, but many more do not.
Another popular back up solution for small offices is to back up data on to a NAS drive, but these, like other devices, are not immune to mechanical failure.
Online Backup Solutions
One backup solution worth considering is online backup services. Instead of copying data to an external device or network drive, employees can back up their data to a storage facility on a remote server. After the initial backup of data has been made, the process is a lot quicker because only files that are new or have been changed are backed up. Once an online backup has been set up, the system runs in the background.
Backups normally take place at least once per day and in most cases the user is unaware they are happening. In the event of data loss, files can quickly be retrieved and reinstalled on an existing device or a new one.
Online backups are not free for businesses, but they are money well spent. The cost of an online backup will vary according to the amount of data and the number of employees using the service, so it pays to shop around for the best prices.
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