Your systems probably hold a few terabytes worth of CRM and vendor data, billing and payroll history, legal and other documents. You generate vast amounts of new data daily. Yet, if you’re like 40 percent of small-to-medium sized companies, you don’t back up that gold at various points throughout the day. Or you assume it’s backing up … but you’re not sure.
If you’ve dodged a data disaster so far, consider yourself lucky. Roughly 40 percent of companies that cannot recover data within 24 hours of an outage shut their doors within 24 months. What would happen to your business if essential data were wiped? How long could you continue operating?
You may think your backup is doing its job, only to learn too late that your data wasn’t fully protected. Unless you can say with absolute certainty that your back-up systems are right-sized and reliable, it’s time for a critical update. Here’s what you need to consider.
Rethink Your Needs
Your backup is insurance against data loss and outages that could put you out of business, so treat it with the urgency it deserves. Start by evaluating your company’s needs and retool from there. First, identify what you need to backup and how long to retain it. Do you need financials and CRM or just client files and emails? Is six months enough, or do you need seven years? What regulations do you need to be in compliance with? How frequently do you need to back up?
Unfortunately most people think as long as you have a backup in place, retrieving data post disaster is as simple as pushing a button. But if you experience a catastrophe – from a disgruntled employee deleting client files, to a full-blown data hack – the type of back-up determines how long it takes to recover that data. Make sure that the system you have in place actually aligns with your needs.
Storage: Local, Cloud or Both?
A hybrid approach, combining a local appliance and the cloud, can yield excellent results.
Local-only backup has become relatively inexpensive, but they can be limited. They also are at risk if there’s an unforeseen event, like a flood or fire. If your server is destroyed, so is your backup. Adding the cloud gives you limitless storage, extra protection, and provides access to critical data from virtually anywhere. Reductions in bandwidth and storage costs along with competition have made the cloud more affordable than ever. And when you consider the cost of a data wipe, the security you gain is well worth the expense.
Going hybrid also gives you tremendous flexibility. You can store and back up locally, then selectively upload to the cloud. This enables you to recover and retrieve data as the situation demands.
Or if you’re in a highly regulated industry, you might retain sensitive information in-house and keep less-sensitive data in the cloud. I95
Jeff Elkin is the President at Advance Business Systems, which specializes in providing businesses with technology solutions including Managed IT services. Advance works with organizations to assess and stabilize their IT environment and ensure their technology will meet the goals of their organization now and in the future. Advance’s team of engineers proactively monitor each client’s environment and manage every element of their IT needs from updates and back-ups to large scale projects such as email migrations and system upgrades.