Accelerating data backups when the economy slows
By Bud Stoddard
To say we've seen a significant downturn in the economy in the past 12 months would be hyperbole at its best. As business owners and executives, it is incumbent on each of us to go through the necessary belt-tightening and reassessment of the budget process whenever the economic conditions and the stock market make a turn in a southerly direction.
There are the obvious areas we turn to first - with scalpel in hand - that include head count, marketing, accounting, human resources, legal, customer support and ultimately information technology (IT). Certainly with IT investment that have risen upwards by 15-20%, this is an area that could stand to go on a fiscal version of the slim fast program, at least until we climb out of this economic malaise. It's standard to cut infrastructure costs, defer the Web initiative or stretch out the additional hires for a few months but I beg you, SPARE THE BACKUP AND RECOVERY LINE ITEM. In fact, when things turn down, I would even advocate that you increase the backup and recovery expense. Yes, I know that might sound a little self-serving since my company provides backup services to companies like yours, but I will explain.
The central premise
Information and data are two of the most critical assets in your business. Lost data is considered irreplaceable - period. Here are a few examples to make my point. Would you or anybody on your management team (following a data loss or disaster) tell you the following?
- What are our outstanding account receivables and who owes us what?
- What are our outstanding account payables and whom do we owe what?
Yeah, you're thinking this is not really a problem. But in fact, does anybody really know who their customers and suppliers are and can they recite the list without a computer printout? Not likely.
- What do all of our employees make and what are their deductions? You outsource payroll, does your payroll company have offsite backup? I know two that don't.
- And what about all those customer names, phone numbers, addresses and detailed purchasing information that are in your CRM system or at least in Act or Outlook...GONE. Was it backed up?
Enough said on this...I'm sure you get the point. You can replace desks, computers, supplies and inventory, even people but data is irreplaceable and its loss could put you out of business. Think about it.
The only viable insurance program for data is to have a bulletproof, fully automated backup and recovery service in place that removes data nightly over a secure Internet connection to a remote vault for instant retrieval in the event of a loss. It's called evaulting or online backup for business.
About the author: Bud Stoddard is president and CEO of amerivault, a provider of online backup services to computer dependent companies. Mr. Stoddard draws from twenty years experience in data backup and recovery services and his companies have helped support hundreds of disaster recovery tests and events during that period.-