Back it Up! Small Business Data Backup Strategies

Hardware Fails. Storage is Cheap. Back it up!

Back it Up! Small Business Data Backup Strategies

Data Backup Strategies for Small Businesses

Hardware Fails.  Storage is Cheap.  Back it up!

Nothing hurts more than having to tell someone, “yes, you lost everything.” This statement can be devastating for a small business. Even more painful is recognizing, as a small business owner, that you just lost some of your most valuable assets. You worked so hard to make things happen, yet your investment just went “up in smoke.”

How does Data Loss Impact your Business?

Just like losing Internet connectivity, a hardware failure or lack of proper data storage strategy carries a cost. A recent Paragon Software Group study on SMBs reveals that about 22% of companies (that’s more than one in five) have experienced data loss that caused significant impact to the business. PricewaterhouseCoopers Research indicates that 70% of businesses reporting this kind of loss go out of business within a year of the event. Even more survey respondents admitted that inadequate or non-existent backup measures affected their revenues, partner relations and brand reputation.

Today’s Small Businesses are using more data than ever before!

According to cloudtweaks.com’s article Surprising Facts and Stats about the Big Data Industrywe can get an idea how big our data volumes have grown:

What Percentage of data is in digital format?

Picture every book in every library, school, home, and company in the entire world – it’s a lot of books. Yet all those books combined make up a maximum of 6 percent of the sum total of all human data. In 2007 it was estimated that a mammoth 94 percent of all data was stored in a digital format. Furthermore, a phenomenal 90 percent of all data ever produced by humans has been made in the last two years.

What does the future hold?

Looking forward, experts now predict that 40 zettabytes of data will be in existence by 2020. Three years ago, the entire World Wide Web is estimated to contain approximately 500 exabytes – which is 5 billion gigabytes, but only half of one zettabyte! 40 zettabytes is, therefore, 400 billion gigabytes!

Be glad your small business data is not to this scale yet! Nonetheless it is growing and you are more reliant on it than ever. Our observation with customers is that data storage and backup strategies seem to be an afterthought. Our firsthand view shows they are most often put in place once they experience an emergency. More often than not this data loss turns catastrophic. We understand the logic behind the behavior. Something like: you get a new computer containing a new disk drive with more space. It works well as you create and load new files, and life goes on. What you don’t think about is that disk wearing out just like a pair of jeans that gradually fades. Suddenly, a tear occurs. Oh, who could have known there was a catch on the corner of that wall? 

Consider all the data you have and how important it is that you and your employees have access to the data you need at a moment’s notice.

  • Sales numbers and order information
  • Proprietary information on company strategies or processes
  • Customer data including contact information as well as payments/credit card data, etc. if you process payments
  • Email correspondence, history
  • Employee files and payroll information

Look at the volume and criticality contained just in this short list. What would be the cost of permanent loss? Along with basic hardware failures, you could be vulnerable to theft, hackers or otherwise. What about viruses or malware? Even simple employee mistakes like accidental deletion. If your business was in a tornado or a fire, would you have backup of your most vital information for day-to-day operation? How about the expense of recreating important missing documents like agreements, etc.? Is operational downtime generated? Read more about this in our previous blog on downtime.

Listen, we get it. Nobody ever really expects anything to go wrong.  Do you realize what you’re leaving yourself open to if your data isn’t secure and properly stored?

Perhaps the most common of these catastrophic events is hardware failure. We have had a number of clients come to us in the past 5 years who had bad hard drives or lost data due to hardware failure. A hard drive, regardless of the system it is in, circles at between 5,000 and 7,000 revolutions per minute.  That means in an hour it’s gone 300,000-350,000 revolutions. These are, for the most part, mechanical devices.  And even if they are solid state, they can fail.  The bottom line is: hardware fails, regardless of whose hardware it is or who made it.

Data Backup Strategies for Small Business

Since we know that hardware failures happen, and loss is a real possibility, it is better to be prepared than sorry. A proper backup strategy for small businesses has both a local and cloud component, but the latter is the most critical. This is your ultimate “everything is gone, how do I get it back” protection. Even if your building burns down or floods, your cloud backup is secure. You can be up and running quickly in a new location without panic or realizing any loss.

Data backup and storage is not an expensive endeavor. Even the most robust storage needs can be maintained for pennies per day. Bottom line: don’t lose your data.

Call XPERTEK today for your customized business data backup and storage plan.

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