We’re all used to the system of “backups.” We make backups of our important documents. We all have a spare tire in our car’s trunk. If you have kids, you take extra clothing for a day’s outing because you know that whatever they’re wearing will be covered in ice cream or ketchup before long.
Oddly, very few people have a backup of their entire database. Maybe it’s because we think that some of our documents are not that important. For businesses, every document is important. And even if it isn’t, who’s going to go through all those docs each day and decide? It’s just easier to create a backup of everything.
Now the next question is about how often a business owner should make those backups. Think about how much your data changes each day. How many records do you add to your data in a day’s time? How many emails? For some businesses, it is necessary to make multiple backups throughout the day. If you lost just one day’s worth of orders, it could equate to thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, let’s go over the top 5 reasons why business owners should perform data backups each day.
Nobody’s perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. What if a new IT employee accidentally deletes thousands of records? Some employee at a workstation could get busy and delete an important contract. One thing for sure about business is that it takes people to get the work done and anytime there are people involved, there WILL be mistakes.
Here’s that careless employee again. This time, he opens an email that’s infected with malware. Suddenly it spreads to 10 computers. What will you do? Can you fully recover all the information that was lost? Only if you make frequent daily backups of your data. With ransomware now the number one cause of lost data, you must protect your company. You’ve worked too hard to just lose everything to some hacker on the other side of the world.
Many businesses are required to maintain copies of their records for a period of time. This is especially true for those in the legal, medical and financial industries. If you don’t properly adhere to the rules, you could be heavily fined by organizations like HIPAA. Businesses usually undergo audits on an annual basis. Every file is important. What if you made a $10,000 equipment purchase but no one can find the receipt? What if you donated $20,000 to a charity that has since gone out of business? Can you support those expenses with the proper documentation? Audits are stressful enough, but when you have data backups of all those records, you can answer those tough questions for the auditors.
According to the EM-DAT, the total number of natural disasters has been steadily increasing. In 1970, there were only 78 reported natural disasters but in 2004, there were 348 disasters including hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and wild fires. No one will ever forget Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which nearly wiped out the city of New Orleans. But just recently in southeast Texas, a tornado tore a 44-mile path of destruction from Rusk County to Houston and Cherokee Counties. It was so big that it could be observed from the space station. From fires to hurricanes, disasters are increasing so the only thing we can do is be prepared. And that includes regular data backups.
Sometimes unexplained and terrible things do happen and for business owners it can spell financial disaster. One of the biggest issues for business owners is getting back up and running after some type of tragedy such as a theft or the roof being blown off your building. The longer it takes you to recover, the greater your financial losses. If you can rent temporary space, restore all your files and get back to your regular routine within 2 weeks, you can usually save your company. But often business owners don’t have a strong contingency plan. They just tell themselves that bad things only happen to bad people, so they don’t prepare. Business continuity is about being able to recover in the shortest amount of time, so your business barely suffers loss.
As you can see, there are probably more reasons to back up your data than you ever thought. And these are real things that could and do happen every day across America. Good planning can save you though. And good planning starts with good data backups.
A study from the University of Texas shows that 43 percent of all companies that suffer a major data loss will never be able to recover. They just can’t get back on their feet in a timely manner, so they have to close the doors. It’s a heartbreaking reality but you can do something about it. When you have good, strong backups of your data, you can rent another space somewhere and get back to work within a week or so. And that’s the difference between surviving and going bankrupt.
If you work with a good managed IT provider, they’ll even help you set up your new space so that employees can come in and do their jobs each day with good internet and reliable computers. Downtime is expensive for most companies. But it is something you can remediate with the right business continuity plan. And that includes reliable daily backups of your database.