We’ve all been guilty of not backing up our data at some point. Whether it’s accidentally deleting a photo, or not saving a document that then crashes, the perils of failing to make a copy of files are clear. Yet on a business level, too many people do not think of the bigger picture, and impact of lost data on productivity and security.
Backing up your data as a business is about more than saving holiday photos. There are numerous ways to backup data, but all of them offer a level of security against potential risks. From malfunctioning software and hardware to increased accessibility, here are just a few ways that businesses benefit from backing up their data.
Ease of access
The main object of backing up your data as a business is to create redundancies in case data is lost. However, there are also ancillary benefits that can be just as useful. Chief among them is the organizational benefit of uploading your data to the Cloud, and making sure that everyone has access to copies of a file whenever they need it.
By using a live service such as Google Docs, you can host files in shared folders that can be freely accessed by anyone who’s been granted permissions. These permissions can also dictate what they are able to do with the files, from read only to full editorial control. Docs and similar services also allow you to edit documents simultaneously in real time, with the document updating and showing you the changes other people are making.
If you don’t want to simultaneously work on the same documents, or want to store files other than documents or spreadsheets, there are numerous Cloud providers that focus on more static storage. Options such as Dropbox allow you to backup a large amount of data to the Cloud while still keeping it accessible, with employees being able to access and download the files from any location. This is not only convenient, but prevents the issue of having to take home files on USB drives that might get lost, posing a data security risk.
Protect against power loss
Power loss is usually an infrequent problem, but when it does occur, it can be devastating. As many of us do not save files as regularly as we should, enormous amounts of progress and man hours can be lost in the event of an outage. While there are battery solutions and backup generators which can provide emergency power, these tend to be too expensive to justify for something that happens so rarely.
Backing up your files is an ideal solution to this problem. By regularly backing up copies of the files you’re working on, you can ensure that data losses due to power outages are minimized. This is even more true of Cloud backup solutions such as Google Docs, where changes are saved almost instantly, meaning that there’s little to no chance of serious data loss occurring.
Protect against software failure
Software failure is an all too common occurrence. Whether it’s due to the reliability of the software, the strength of the hardware, or a simple unexplained crash, software closing or failing to respond can result in huge data losses. While this can be avoided by regularly saving, lapses will always occur, and it’s smart to have failsafes in place when people make mistakes.
Depending on the software, you may find that Cloud applications opened in a browser actually use less system resources than their software equivalents. In these cases, you could get more out of your software by using the browser-based version, or equivalent software, as well as the advantages of backing up your data.
With many companies being forced to use certain software, and given the high cost of upgrading computers, protecting against software failure is key. By backing up your data on a regular basis, you can help to ensure that substantial progress isn’t lost when software locks up – and reinvest these efficiency savings in new software or hardware.
Protect against hardware failure
Hardware failure is rare, but when it does occur, it can be catastrophic. While there are usually warning signs for when a hard drive is failing, many people miss them, or are unable to address the issue before the drive fails. Other times, the hard drive is physically damaged by dropping a laptop or spilling coffee on a machine, and the data inside is lost for good. And very occasionally, a drive will just fail out of the blue, due to some unforeseen mechanical defect.
It’s in these instances that having reliable and up-to-date backups of your data is a godsend. The suddenness of hardware failure means that problems are often harder to predict, while the data loss can be magnitudes larger than a simple software failure. By backing up your data regularly to other hard drives or a Cloud storage service, you’ll ensure that even a total hardware write-off doesn’t lead to too much lost time.
The demands of GDPR mean that organizing your data is more important than ever. With many businesses in the process of transitioning to entirely digital records, it’s crucial that all of the customer data you keep is organized, indexed and accessible – so that if somebody invokes their right to view or delete it, you have it immediately to hand.
By backing up your data to a secure storage medium or Cloud storage platform, you’ll ensure that all of your important data is centralized and organized, rather than being stuck on individual systems or accounts. This will help you to comply with the regulations more easily, ensuring that you avoid any legal penalties, and improve your responsiveness to customer queries.
Perhaps more importantly, you’ll also ensure that you have a backup of this data in case of a hardware failure or security breach. In some cases, it may be prudent to back up customer data to an offline source before removing it from online devices, ensuring that it is fully protected from illegal access – and preventing your data breach from hitting the headlines.
Backing up your data has a myriad different benefits, and shouldn’t be seen as unnecessary or indulgent. By incorporating regular data backups into your workflows, you can ensure that key work and information is safe from all potential threats, and available for access whenever you need it. Doing so will not just prevent lost man hours, but help you to stay compliant with rapidly developing data security and privacy laws, saving you money in the long run.
Sota is one of the UK’s leading independent providers of professional IT support services in Kent, cloud computing, cyber resilience, connectivity, and unified communications. Having worked with countless businesses over the years, they are experts in their field, ready to advise and offer tailored solutions for each and every company.