Recent years have seen increasing uptake of cloud backup in the UK, and in many other countries, among both businesses and individuals. Effective cloud backup has become increasingly important for a business, and could very well prove to be the thing that saves your business in the event of a disaster.
The Impact of Data Loss
Data loss is a problem for more than just a company’s IT department. It represents a wide-ranging and large-scale issue for businesses, especially if the data turns out to be unrecoverable. Data loss doesn’t only arise as a result of technical issues either. If your data is only stored on equipment and media that is physically present on your business premises, severe and permanent data loss can occur in addition to the other problems you are likely to experience after a disaster such as fire or flooding. This can mean that just when you are trying to get your business back up and running after the event, you find that you no longer have any idea what needs to be done, to whom you owe money or from whom you are owed money, and indeed who your current customers are.
The result, whether as an issue in itself or an added problem after a wider disaster, is a significant disruption to your business and a huge challenge for your staff. This, in turn, leads to significant financial losses for your business. At the very least, there will be costs associated with the time and effort devoted into getting things sorted out, but data loss can also result in other forms of disruption such as website outages.
After all, data is not just something that is stored and archived; it is also what makes up your website and allows digital processes to function. If your website or ordering process is out as a result of a data loss, the estimated cost per minute to a substantial, heavily website-dependent business such as an ecommerce retailer is in the region of US$10,000 (£6000). This figure comes from a study of US rather than UK businesses, but still serves as a valid illustration as to how substantial the impact of data loss can be.
Some small and medium-sized businesses may not be able to survive data loss at all. Between the financial losses caused by operational disruption, the cost in both financial terms and the time required to address the problem, and the difficulty of working out what needs to be done and when, many businesses will simply not be able to keep operating under the strain.
The simplest yet best solution to these problems is to ensure that all data is backed up regularly. This includes current data such as website files, orders, and financial data as well as any data that your business has archived. This means that in the event of an outage, you will have a perfect and up-to-date copy of all that you have lost, ready to be accessed on-demand. As a result, disruption will be greatly reduced and your business will soon be back to where it was before the event. Manual backups are easy to forget or to put off, so an automatic schedule is definitely advisable.
Cloud backup is superior to other, on-site backup methods because your data is stored safely regardless as to what happens within your business. External storage media or a separate, dedicated backup system may be immune to mainstream IT issues, but if some physical disaster such as a fire hits your business then it could easily destroy every piece of IT equipment you have. Cloud backup, however, will remain untouched even by this kind of extreme, worst-case scenario, leaving you ready to get your data back and resume where you left off as soon as possible.