Losing data can cause your business to grind to a halt. All business owners know they should backup their data, but too many never get around to actually doing it until it is too late. In a typical outage the time and cost involved in reconstructing lost data result in 29% of businesses losing revenue and 52% productivity.

Data to a business is like blood supply to a human, critical to its survival. Without immediate and constant data availability, companies grind to a halt as customers cannot be serviced, employees paid, debtors collected, or creditors paid. When data is lost it is impossible to reconstruct it 100% correctly, and some businesses fail. According the U.S. Small Business Administration, 25% of businesses never reopen after being hit by a data loss disaster.

All businesses need a backup plan that protects against worst-case scenarios. Having a single backup is not sufficient when the survival of your business hangs in the balance, so at least two backup strategies is a minimum. An effective business backup strategy must start with a plan detailing requirements such as how far in the past it is required to access data. Can the business just use the last backup, or do they also need to access the versions and data from six months ago?

Off-site cloud based data backups are now very popular as they keep your data far from the disaster site. So if your office gets destroyed by a flood your data stored in the cloud based data backup should be safe. Choose a reputable mature cloud storage provider that has a good track record for reliability as this will help ensure that your data is available when you need it.

Another alternative for backing up data is the use of external hard disk drives. Their portability means that they are easy to move to an off-site location where you don’t need to be concerned about prying eyes and can be used ad hoc such as bringing a tape cartridge home every evening.

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