Disaster Recovery and the Importance of Data Backup

It is the case for many businesses, large or small, including your business, that the data you hold is valuable. Regardless of whether that data is simply an address book, emails, an entire website or various Word documents and spreadsheets, it all has a value to your business.

Some businesses are built almost entirely on data, so when data is such a valuable asset, why do so many small and medium sized businesses ignore this fact?

There are a number of reasons that we encounter on a regular basis:

  • The client does not consider their data to be an asset, let alone one of their biggest assets.
  • The client does not appreciate that sometimes hardware fails.
  • The client thought that this was someone else’s responsibility (ie. ISP, Designer, Colleague)

Reason 1 – Even if you’re a bricks and mortar business, with valuable premises or/and stock, your data is still one of your biggest assets. The data which you collect and store regarding your customers, their contact and personal details, purchasing habits, even just their email address, it’s all valuable. If the premises burned to the ground and all the stock lost, if your data is safe and secure, chances are that your business can recover, maybe quite quickly. If everything is lost, including your data, you’re back to square one, day one.

Reason 2 – Most computer systems use a mechanical, spindle hard drive with spinning discs and moving parts. Like all mechanical devices, hard drives are susceptible to failures. A very wise man once said “There are two types of hard drives, one that has failed and one that will fail”. Taking this sage advice on board, we take data storage and backup seriously at Quentin James Design. Each individual computer systems data is cloned regularly and stored on three separate hard drives, one of which is permanently located off-site, several miles away. Some critical data is also stored off-site using cloud storage solutions.

If you run an online business, and lose revenue every minute your website is offline, talk to us about redundant backup systems. They can automatically take over a split second after your main website/server fails, ensuring continuity for your customers, no downtime and no loss of revenue.

Reason 3 – Your data is YOUR responsibility. Assuming that ‘someone else’ is taking care of it is a sure fire route to a full on ‘Disaster’ situation. Whilst rare, ISP’s can go out of business overnight, leaving your data stranded in cyberspace. Make sure you have the necessary data storage and recovery strategies in place before you need take advantage of them.

Data storage and backup needn’t be overly expensive or complicated. It can be as simple as using a cloud storage solution like Carbonite or, if you’re just backing up one or two standalone computers, purchasing an external hard drive is very inexpensive, with 1TB USB models costing as little as £40.00.

If it only costs £40.00 to safeguard one of the most important and valuable assets that your business relies on – what are you waiting for?

Footnote – From time to time, we have been called upon to create, plan and implement ‘Disaster Recovery’ solutions for one or two of our clients. Typically this happens after the disaster has taken place, giving us little or no time to properly prepare for such an event. Thankfully, every time we have been asked to avert disaster, we’ve managed to. In short, a little investment and some clear, forward planning will avoid a data disaster.