Computer data is a vital part of any business. If you think about it, it probably stores a lot more than you might initially realise. Financial accounts, customer data and presentations are just some of the things that are likely to only be stored digitally. However, have you thought about what that would mean should the data become inaccessible and potentially lost forever? The bottom line is that, if you do not have a contingency plan in place, lost data means lost business.
Rubicon is a technology consulting company and they carried out a survey with hundreds of small and medium sized businesses in the United States. They found that while a lot of businesses are worried about the idea of data loss, a lot of them are not doing enough to protect from it. Frankly, this is dangerously bad practice.
They found that over 50% of the companies they surveyed had lost some amount of business data. This was largely down to hardware failure, with accidental erasure, software bugs and malware infections also topping the list. 13% had lost data due to fire or another disaster, which just goes to show that you cannot just keep file backups within the same office. You need to keep an offsite copy of the data just in case a natural disaster does strike.
Data loss is a real issue – that much is clear. But can it actually lead to loss businesses? According to the survey results it absolutely can. Rubicon found that one third of the businesses lost out on sales as a result of lost data. On top of that, 20% of them lost customers as a result of it. Think about all the things that downtime of your data could lead to: employee downtime, increase in IT expenditure, loss of a sale or customer or even loss of a partnership with another company. A strong backup plan that is implemented well will mean that businesses are not losing out on vital custom.
So, not only is data loss a real issue, but so is the lost businesses that goes with it. It is all very well saying that a “strong backup plan” is needed… what exactly does this mean? Firstly, the best backup plans reduce downtime as much as possible, perhaps even to nothing. It is paramount that you take regular backups. Your definition of ‘regular’ will depend on the nature of the business, but at least at the end of every work day. Also, one backup (take multiple copies if you can) needs to be stored offsite.
If you do find yourself with data loss then you might be able to recover the data yourself. If the damage is logical then you can try using recovery software. If the damage is physical then you need to consult a recovery company. Do not just go for the cheapest one. Your data is valuable and you will need it recovered well and securely.
Hopefully this article has helped you understand the impact of data loss on a business. Bottom line: have a solid backup plan and your custom won’t be damaged.
Lost Data Means Lost Business
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