Backing-up has never been more important. Most businesses today are now reliant on their IT systems, and risk losing everything should their IT fail.
But how can you be sure you’re making the right decisions about how and what to back up? Here’s a quick overview of key points to consider and options available.
Key Things to Consider for Business Data Backup
1. How long can you afford to be without your IT infrastructure?
Just how long could your business continue to function effectively if your IT went down? For many businesses, the IT infrastructure is the thing they can’t survive without. You might, for example, be able to live without an office for a while, with staff working from home or even from the nearest coffee shop. But how much could people realistically do without access to the company’s data and systems?
2. Is data stored on Individual workstations?
Do staff members store any data on their own PC or laptop hard drives? Then any server-based back-up will potentially miss the files. Should that particular device crash, or get infected, lost or stolen, the data will almost certainly be gone forever. If you don’t have a network and server but rely on individual workstations, then it’s almost impossible to make sure staff back up data securely. If people are using laptops as stand-alone devices outside the office, there’s an even bigger risk.
3. What about email?
Where is your email stored? We often find that firms who are very good at taking back-ups of documents and database information don’t always realise they aren’t backing up email. That means they risk losing critical customer and internal records and communications.
4. What software is critical to running your business?
Some backup options only replicate data. That’s fine if you run only standard software that can easily be reinstalled. Make sure, though, that a) you don’t lose the licence number/key/installation CD, and b) you’re not the only person who knows where to find it. If, however, you have more sophisticated and customised systems, you’ll want these backed up too. There’s no point saving all your data if you can’t then read it.
Online Backup Solutions
Increasingly, we’re finding online (or ‘cloud’) services best meet individual client needs for business continuity. When data is stored elsewhere, it doesn’t matter what happens on your premises or with your equipment. There are options for various budgets and needs.
The most comprehensive service is full Backup Disaster Recovery. With this in place, both services and data are backed up via the internet and stored in a secure server off site. Backups are typically at 15-minute intervals, but can be set to whatever is most appropriate. In the event of a disaster affecting your on-site system or your office, you can access the back-up system immediately and carry on.
If you don’t need software backed up, then you can go for a cheaper data-only backup. Again, backups are scheduled to meet your needs, and data is held in a secure server.
An alternative internet-based approach is to implement cloud computing for email and office functions. You’re not then dependent on a local server, and data and services are available to you wherever you log on – ideal where you have remote workers.
Local Backup Solutions
For some companies, local backup still makes sense. We can help put systems in place to ensure everything is covered – and provide remote monitoring to check each backup completes successfully.
What’s right for you will depend on the size of your business, the scale of the risk, and the budget you have available. If you’d like to talk through the options, please do give us a call on 0161 359 3689 or contact us here.