There are various ways to calculate the cost of losing work stored on computers. Perhaps the easiest way to get a gut feel for the cost is to think for a moment about how long it would take to replace lost work. How many people would have to spend how many days to create everything from scratch?
Here is a simple 10-step plan for making sure they do not have to.
1. Have a Strategy
You will not know what approach is right for you until you have answered these questions:
- How long can you go without the lost data?
- Will you be making full backups or incremental or differential backups?
- How quickly will you need data restored?
- What devices will you use?
- How secure do your backups need to be?
- How long do you need to keep the data for?
2. Prepare for the Worst
If the building burns down, your onsite backups might go the same way as your computer systems.
You should think about offsite or cloud backups as part of your plan.
3. Get Help
You might not have all the answers or even all the questions.
Speak to your IT and backup provider..
4. How Much Can You Afford to Lose?
Catalogue which data would have the biggest impact if you were to lose it.
Break data into categories and work out how old the backups can be in each category.
5. How Long Can You Go Before Your Data is Restored?
The answer to this question will be different for each of the categories of data you identified.
This will inform your decision about what backup systems you need.
6. Consider your Applications
Not only does your backup solution need to fit your business needs, but it also needs to suit the applications you run.
7. Choose your Device
What will you backup onto? Physical or Cloud? This is an area where it is worth taking advice.
8. Set Up your Backups
Your IT support company will use their expertise to make sure you are set up correctly.
9. Take a Picture
Do not just set up to backup data. Image backups capture your whole system so that you can restore everything quickly. That includes your operating system, applications, settings, bookmarks, and file states right before a disaster.
10. Check and Double Check
Believe it or not YOU are responsible for checking backups are being performed on a daily basis. All backup software will have a log file of some sort indicating whether it worked or not.