Online backup crucial for small businesses
— Vance Checketts is the VP of Operations for online storage company Mozy. The opinions expressed are his own. —
Among the myriad challenges small and medium businesses (SMBs) are currently facing, data loss is an often unanticipated – but very real – cause of revenue and productivity loss.
Businesses of all sizes depend on files and email stored on desktops, laptops, and servers for their very survival. Natural disaster, theft, or even something as commonplace as a cup of coffee spilled on a laptop is not just an IT nightmare. Such events can literally put a small business out of business.
In fact, 93 percent of companies that lose significant amounts of data shut down within five years. The staggering rate of information growth within businesses, currently over 80 percent annually, only compounds the potential for loss.
In the past, effective backup strategies were largely beyond reach for most SMBs as they required a combination of significant equipment investment, expensive IT staff, and complicated processes in order to completely protect an organization’s information and ensure its recovery after any incident. Deploying local backup solutions was time-intensive, costly, and even for those businesses that could afford them, still left them exposed in the event of natural disaster or any other event in which local backup copies became unavailable.
The advent of cloud computing has changed the economics and the ease of backup and recovery for businesses of any size. Just as cloud computing allows businesses to access sales databases or email via their Web browsers, the cloud allows for data to be backed up to remote data centers.
Deploying online backup is as simple as installing an application once on each company desktop, laptop, and server. From that point forward, all information on those devices is encrypted to ensure security, transferred via a company’s Internet connection to an online backup service provider’s data center, and is available to be restored immediately in the event of theft, natural disaster, or equipment failure.
Online backup is also of critical importance to an increasingly mobile workforce. Any employee who travels or works remotely is potentially at risk, particularly for theft in crowded environments such as airports. To illustrate the potential loss, consider that according to a report from the Poneman Institute in conjunction with Intel, the theft of a laptop costs a company $49,246 – of which only $1,582 is the replacement of the laptop. In other words, the data on an employee’s laptop is worth exponentially more than the laptop itself.
An organization’s information – in the form of patient databases, accounting records, email archives, and countless other variants – is one of its most vital assets. Online backup, which provides simple, automatic and secure protection, is something that any small business should consider in order to concentrate on its core competencies safe in the knowledge that its information is protected.