Posted by : Amanda Stein Thursday, August 15, 2013

Time constraints and complacency are among the two most common reasons people cite for not backing up their data. If you’ve never experienced data loss, you may think, “Oh, that will never happen to me”. Even if you have had a minor data crash, time may keep you from implementing and/or managing and adequate backup. Is data loss truly something to be concerned about? Is it worth the time and money to implement a cloud backup protocol?

Recently, a colleague of mine, who backs up his files to a local server, not only lost the data on his computer, but he discovered the data he thought was backed up was not on his trusted “back up” server. When I asked him if he had a an additional copy in the cloud he replied, “no”. Feeling defeated, he was forced to re-create all of his work and inform his clients there would be a delay in service. Even in an instance where data is being backed up locally, it can be a good idea to back it up remotely to a cloud application as well. Google Drive and Carbonite are examples of excellent cloud back-up applications.

One common question asked is, “how often should I back-up my data?”. The answers varies. If you are a heavy computer user creating tons of documents and files on a daily basis, it’s not a bad idea to back up at least once a day.

Let’s examine a few reasons why backing up data (especially to the cloud) is so important:

Time is Money

Even if you roll your eyes at this old adage, you must admit that it is ever so true. And, if you are one of those who doesn’t back up your data because you “don’t have time”, can you really afford the hours, days and sometimes weeks it will cost you to either recover or recreate your data? Every minute your company is offline costs money. Sometimes data can be recovered by a certified data recovery expert. The last time I priced this service I was quoted $1000 to recover a personal computer, and I would have needed to mail them my hard drive. This option would have cost me both time and money.

When It’s Gone, It’s Gone

There is data even the best data recovery experts cannot retrieve. Viruses and file corruption can also result in permanent data loss. Taking chances with your data is like playing roulette with your business.

Saving Face With Your Customers

Nothing is more embarrassing than having to explain data loss to your customers. This can also cause them to lose confidence in your company. Data loss can result in significant delays and/or interruptions in a project or service. If you have to completely regenerate files, you may have to contact your customers to re-obtain the information you need. Worse case scenario, if you lose your customer database, you could also lose the ability to even communicate with them.

I’ve lost data in the past. Once you’ve experienced serious data loss, you take every precaution to prevent it in the future. If you want to take protecting your data a step further, consider looking into providers offering additional peace of mind, like Spanning, which provides additional backup, restoration and security for your Google Apps. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have not yet fallen victim to the devastating effects of data loss, take steps to protect your data now. It will save you time, money and lots of future headaches!

Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications on behalf of a number of companies. Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.

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