There are various aspects of business continuity plans (disaster planning) but the easiest to implement is backing up your data. Having this aspect of your disaster planning completed will cover you in the case of both small disasters (computer theft or breakage) and large one (fires or natural disasters). Without your data, your accounting records, customer information and even your equipment information, your business may not survive. Here are some things to consider when backing up your data.
Location, Location, Location
Where will your backup be located? I know many businesses that have their data backed up to a tape drive or server that are located on-site and that's it. What if your building had a fire? Taking a copy of your data home each night isn't a sure thing either. What if a flood came through and took both your home and your business. You're still stuck. The safest place to keep a back up is on the cloud. Odds are, your cloud provider is NOT in the same physical location in the country as you. If they are, check to ensure that your data is also hosted on a server somewhere else or switch to another provider.
There are many different backup services out there. Some are free...until you need to use them. Then they charge you to retrieve it. Others charge you upfront per month or per year. The per month plans are generally based on size so if cost is a factor, consider whether or not you REALLY need all the files you are backing up. It might be beneficial to take some time to decide that you can probably live without the meeting agendas from 1995.
Ease of Use
How do you get access to your backup? Some places keep the file structure so that you can browse for the individual file and/or folder you need. The benefit to those are that it's generally easy to retrieve the files you need, whenever you need them. Like if an employee accidentally deleted a file (or entire folder). It happens. And it's good to have it backed up and easily accessible. How easy is it to setup? Most of the time, it's as easy as installing a small application and telling it which folder(s) to backup and how often. If they have an option to notify you that it's not working, that's even better.
These are three things to consider when selecting a method and type of backup for the data in your business. Don't forget to save things like your customer records, pending proposals, and email lists, as well long-term business documents like tax documents, accounting data, and marketing materials and content. If you would like help navigating the waters of a backup solutions, we would be happy to tell you about our backup solutions. 877.404.8224.
Jen Steed writes about technology, travel and more. You can find her writing for various online and print publications. To talk to Jen or see all of her articles as they are published, you can follow Jen on Google+.