A well used fact in the IT industry is that 80% of all businesses who suffer complete data loss will be out of business within 18 months. Whether that’s 90%, 80% or 70% you get the gist.
Imagine you turn up for work and your office has been broken into overnight. You realise that, amongst other things, your server and all the desktop computers have been stolen. After the initial shock, you’ll start thinking about getting your office back up and running. Replacing the computers, although potentially a strain on your cash flow until the insurance pays out, is relatively straight forward. You could have your computer network back up and running within a few days.
The real issue is all the historical data stored on your computers. How many times a day do you search your email inbox for that information someone sent you six months ago, login to your book keeping software to check who owes you money or pull up that Word template you use to generate new quotes. Imagine if all of that was gone. To redo all that work and input all the data again would take months, if not years, even if all the information was available to do it.
Unfortunately, backing up data is something that a lot of small businesses don’t give a high priority to. I understand, I really do - remembering to do the backup manually to your USB stick as you rush out the door for the weekend ahead or swapping a backup disk last thing at night really couldn’t be further from your thoughts. Anyway, we’ll do the backup next week….
This is where a ‘cloud’ backup system could protect your business not only from theft but also hardware failure. These systems consist of two distinct parts – allocated storage in a data centre and a program that is installed on your server or desktop computer that will periodically upload any new or updated files via your internet connection.
These backup services are becoming more and more attractive to small businesses and are available for a relatively small monthly fee. The increase in speed of a standard ADSL broadband connection and the introduction of fibre optic connections means that uploading large amounts of data isn’t such an issue. Most people don’t realise that the upload speed on your ADSL internet connection is much lower than your download speed, typically 20 times slower at the moment – the A in ADSL stand for asymmetric but perhaps that’s a topic for another day (or perhaps not!).
Many businesses are concerned with where their data is stored and the security of it. The cloud backup service we provide has the option of the data being encrypted and clients can decide which data centre they want to use. Most opt for one in the EU which reduces any issues surrounding the storage of confidential data offsite.
Although complete data loss is relatively rare, we come across partial data loss fairly frequently. Maybe your customer database has become corrupt and won’t open any more or someone has accidentally deleted a shared folder containing a client’s information. The additional advantage of the cloud backup system is that it supports versioning. This allows you to restore data back to a previous version of the data or to a specific time and date in the past.
When putting together a backup strategy, I now recommend to my clients that a cloud backup system should be part of it. I’d still suggest using an onsite backup to USB, external hard drive or backup tape as well. Restoring back from these devices is typically much quicker and you can never have too many backups!
If you’re interested in a cloud backup system or concerned about your current backup strategy then please give us a call or use the contact form. It typically only takes a couple of hours to sort everything out and could be a business saver if the worst were to happen.
1 server licence and 100GB cloud data storage
£35 + VAT per month
1 server licence and 200GB cloud data storage
£50 + VAT per month
1 server licence and 300GB cloud data storage
£60 + VAT per month
Other options are available, please contact us for more information