Preserving the intangible

Increasingly, businesses today are leading a virtual existence. With the increasing scarcity of paper records, critical business information typically exists only in a digital form. We take for granted the availability of the needed data with just a few mouse clicks. Yet, what happens if we learn one day that, due to malice, accidents, disasters or otherwise extraordinary circumstances, the digitised information we have come to rely on has vanished?

You probably would have heard this dozens of times by now, but like any timeless truth, it bears repeating every once in a while: Back up your data! It is not simply a matter of convenience, continuity or to help settle any disputes. Losing critical data can mean the end of your business.

Your unique needs determine the best approach

Data can be erased, lost, destroyed, corrupted or otherwise rendered irrecoverable in a variety of ways. Correspondingly, there exists at least as many backup options and methods. As with most aspects of business IT, there is no “one-size-fits-all” option in data backup, and the best practice really depends on the unique needs and circumstances of your organisation.

When choosing a suitable data backup solution, consider the following factors.

Speed of data update

An organisation dealing with fast-moving sales will have data updating just as quickly. In the span of a day, or even an hour, data would have changed by a great degree. A schedule of weekly backups would therefore be woefully lacking. In such cases, daily or even hourly backups would be required.

Types of data to backup

Does your organisation require everything to be backed-up? Or do you only need to keep core information like customer lists, system files, email messages, final drafts etc.? Determining what data is essential and has to be preserved, and what is extraneous and therefore not necessary for backup will help you form a clearer picture of your needs. Consult your IT vendor for advice.

Ease of backup solution

A data backup system is only as effective as the last time you used it. There is no point installing a backup function that only gets remembered, on hindsight, after the latest virus outbreak. Depending on scope and need, backing up data also takes time which needs to be scheduled into the workday. Consider approaching an IT vendor, or explore the option of protecting your important information via online means.

Hire professional help

Although it can be reassuring to invest heavily in the latest backup solution, it can be easy to make a purchase that is overly complex or too sophisticated for your needs. It is important to have a balance between need, ease of use and of course, cost. Here, hiring a competent and consultative IT vendor who is able to help you analyse your needs and make the best recommendations can prove invaluable.

With expert, reliable advice, you will be able to quickly identify and implement the most suitable suite of solutions, helping your organisation adopt the best data backup and recovery practice in the virtual business environment of today.