We only realise how important it is when we need to use it.
We use computers in business to hold important information as emails, documents and files etc. But if your computer crashed, what would happen to your business? I read recently of a home business that had their laptop stolen. The laptop wasn’t the most valuable thing stolen, the information it had on it was far more valuable. Because all of the business information was on the laptop they effectively had no business.The best advice for this to be prevented is to have backups that are:
– backed up regularly- the more frequent the back up the less information is lost.
– multiple backups- more than one back up copy.
– both onsite (same location as computer) and offsite (different location to computer).
– tested regularly.
Here are some ways to minimise the risk of your business being hurt by the loss of your computer with backups:
1. Make Hard/Paper Copies-Pro: less likely to be stolen or become corrupted by a virus etc. Con: Cost of paper, environmental impact, Cost of storage, cost of administration, still susceptible to fire and water if on site, hard to maintain and move.
2. External Hard-drive– Pro: relatively cheap, can be done automatically, easy to retrieve information, can be based off site. Con: Also susceptible to viruses, if located on same premises as computer still susceptible to theft, fire and water, limited storage space.
3. Backup Tapes/Disks/USB– Pro: Easy to use, compact and easily removable from site, somewhat cheap, can have multiple back up copies Con: Susceptible to virus, can be easily damaged, limited storage space, can be subject to theft, fire and water.
4. Website/Third Party Storage Provider– Pro: can be easy to set up to backup automatically and regularly, offsite location to computer, usually higher storage space, can be easy to retrieve, may have multiple ‘mirrored’ site storage Con: Cost can be minimal depending upon host provider, would need an expert to set up correctly, would need assurance as third party provider there is security with both access and cyber attacks, business confidentiality and information privacy might not allow it without high cost, storage space subject to hosting package.
5. Cloud Applications– Pro: you have little if any software and information held on your computer as held by third party provider, little if any disruption to work if result of theft, fire or flood as just log on from another computer, generally a high level of security with trusted providers, usually have ‘mirrored’ back up in various locations. Con: Cost but minimal and usually paid monthly, plans are typically paid for by the amount of storage space used, need the internet to access so not best for no or slow internet access.
So if you don’t already have a backup policy for your business information technology, it might pay for itself in the future. We never know when we can be the victim of theft, fire or flood. Will you now be looking into what back ups your business has or should have?
~ Damien Foley