The Underrated Safety Net: Why SMEs Must Prioritise Data Backup

Ah, data backup. It might sound like jargon from the IT crowd (no, not the sitcom, though we love a good laugh from Moss and the gang!), but it’s absolutely essential to your business. Now, less of the larking about, let’s get down to it. What does backup mean to you, to your organisation and is it really as important as we say it is (TLDR: yes!)

What exactly does ‘backup’ mean?

There’s no doubt that your company data is important in terms of security, reputation and commercial value. In the event of a fire, would you run and grab it, like you would for a cherished family photo album? Backup is a way of duplicating the album and keeping it somewhere safe so that, in a worst-case scenario, it’s there, ready and waiting, should your original ever go missing or get damaged. It’s an investment for your future self, so that when things go wrong (and sometimes they really do go wrong at a terrible time) you’re not worrying about losing progress or precious information as well.

The good news is that if you make the investment now, you’re covered in a myriad of potential situations. If your physical location is compromised by floods, fire or theft or even something as innocuous as spilling a drink on a laptop or files corrupting, any business can benefit from backup and a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

Why do we make such a fuss about data backup?

Simply? We’re the IT experts.

It’s our role to spot risk and find ways of navigating it so that you can focus on your role. Employees work hard for their results and we know how gutting it is to see all of that work disappear because preventative measures haven’t been taken. It never gets easier telling desperate business owners who approach us when it’s too late, that there’s nothing we can do to get their stuff back. The most we can do is use their pain productively as a cautionary tale.

Your business collects vital information daily; meticulously created reports, client data, or financial records could be lost due to an unexpected event like a cyber-attack or just a clumsy coffee spill. Sometimes we can take extra steps to mitigate big risks like a fire but there’s really no way to predict random occurences that could bring your business to its knees. Backup ensures your hard work isn’t lost forever.

The purpose behind it all?

At its core, data backup is your business’s safety net, ensuring you aren’t forced to start from scratch after an unexpected data misstep.

Is backing up your business data really that necessary?

To put it bluntly: yes, yes, and thrice, yes! Consider it insurance for your data. You hope you’ll never need it, but you’ll be so relieved it’s there if you do.

How do backup and data recovery function?

The mechanics can be broadly broken down in to four parts:

1. Initial Backup: Think of it as taking a “snapshot” of all current data.
2. Routine Updates: Periodic backups keep this snapshot up-to-date. You can decide how frequently you want the periods to be, to ensure minimal work lost in the worst case scenario.
3. Safe Storage: This updated data is securely stored, often in multiple places.
4. Recovery Time: Should the worst happen, recovery tools pull from the latest backup, restoring your data and getting you back on track swiftly, minimising your down time.

Top Picks: What’s crucial for businesses to backup?

Client Data: The backbone of your operations, and possibly the biggest risk to your reputation if it were to be compromised.
Financial Records: Without them, you’re in a bit of a pickle, especially with the taxman and nobody wants to spend hours on hold to HMRC unnecessarily.
Operational Data: Think daily tasks, strategies, and long-term plans.
Email Communications: Your email archive might seem unimportant, but they’re often a mine of historical data that you only notice when they’re gone.

And who’s holding the reins?

In businesses without a designated IT department, senior professionals such as Financial Directors, Office Managers, Administrators and all other roles often bear the brunt of this responsibility.

Maybe they chose to take on the responsibility, maybe it was placed upon them. There’s no substitute for IT infrastructure advice from tech experts who are well versed in up-to-date methods, anticipating the typical pitfalls and drawing up a strategy that suits your exact business needs without overspending on ‘upsells’. Support from external specialists, like the good folk at Clearsky IT, ensures your backup strategy is robust and your data, well-guarded so that you can sleep better!

To sum it up…

Your business data is as precious as the precious family photo album that is irreplacable and the first thing you’d reach for in a fire. Imagine losing it forever! Backup keeps the valuable assets safe so that if the worst comes, you can focus on regrouping without the stress of having to start again from scratch.

Need assistance or just a friendly chat about safeguarding your data? Have a call with Clearsky IT. We’re here to help!

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