Think of all the files you need to run your business successfully: sales records, contracts, appointments, attendance records, contacts. Imagine all those files as pieces of paper in a room full of file cabinets in your office. What would happen if in the middle of the night, your business burned to the ground and all those files were ash? How would you go about recreating all of that information? What would you tell your clients? “Sorry, I lost all your information. Everything I’ve been working on is gone.”
With today’s technology, what was once paper is now more efficiently and safely stored on computers. And with your server, multiple drives are attached into one drive – a redundant array of independent disks (RAID), so if one drive fails, you’re OK. So it seems like a backup, and it can be easy to assume that all is well.
But that server can still go down. All the drives can be lost. The RAID backup strategy is not really a backup strategy at all. It’s putting your only copies of all your information in one file cabinet and hoping for no fires, floods, or earthquakes. And just because something is working now doesn’t mean that disaster can’t strike. It may not be as dramatic as an act of God, but if you’ve lost all the data for your company, it just might feel like that.
Think about your servers and the hard drives that store your company’s data:
- Are they so old that the bearings are screaming (which means your IT company is scared to touch it because it may crash and never come back)?
- Are you on a temporary server or one drive?
- Who knows the password to your server?
- When was the last backup?
- How do you know what’s been backed up and what hasn’t? Who’s in control of backing up your company’s vital information?
If your answer is “I don’t know” to any of those, it’s time (past time) for a backup.
There’s no magic bullet to keeping all of your information safe all the time, but if you set up a backup strategy that works, it will minimize the risk of critical data loss. Have someone whose job it is to protect your data be responsible for the backup so you can focus on running your business, and you’ll get weekly backup logs so you’ll know what’s being backed up and what isn’t.
Have multiple sets of eyes on your data and backups in a couple of places, because your business is built on that data.