The Importance of Business Data Backup
October 29, 2015

If you are a Houston small or medium business owner, you’re undoubtedly aware of how crucial it is to have backups of your company data. In the event of a hurricane during the regular storm season in Houston, losing data if the server room gets flooded or computers are damaged can destroy a business overnight. It is critical to have a good backup for disaster recovery.

The Importance of Data Backup for Houston Businesses

Many businesses invest in insurance to properly protect property, data, and employees. But unfortunately, many businesses also fail to protect the really important data thoroughly. Beyond just hurricanes, many other disasters can strike such as fires, floods, and thefts.These unfortunate events can cause huge data losses and may result in disabling your business.

Why is it so important to prepare for hurricane season in Houston? Google has stated that the average seasons will bring 12 named tropical cyclones, and six of those will get to hurricane status. And at least three will become category 3 or more. For most homeowners, this is not a problem, but for business owners, a good disaster recovery plan is absolutely critical.

Failure to Implement a Backup Causes Serious Losses

Organizations generally ignore natural disaster planning, and that puts them at risk of falling prey to the wrath of the storm. Hurricane Sandy is one example; measured as the largest hurricane ever recorded, it had a proposed economic impact of almost $72 billion. A great deal of the damage caused by sandy was physical. Businesses were wiped out — along with numerous lives.

Symantec recently did a study that polled companies all over the world. They found that when a disaster struck and caused data loss, the average cost was $287,000. The ASBA (American Sustainable Business Council) also found that many small businesses and medium sized businesses lost $3000 daily when being forced to close because of a hurricane or other disaster.

The Importance of Inventory Management

Inventory management is a big problem that forces many businesses to lose a lot of money after a disaster. Wasp Barcode Technologies put out a report that stated less than 46% of small businesses track their inventory. This means that they don’t know what they need to recover by failing to keep count of inventory. By implementing a good inventory and asset loss protection plan, disasters won’t take as huge a toll on the company. The really sad point here is that 50% of businesses that lost a significant amount of vital business data closed within two years of the disaster, while 43% never reopened. This means that only 6% of companies survived after losing large amounts of data.

The best way to minimize hurricane damage for the business is by implementing of a strong backup data protection & disaster recovery strategy. Figure out what your mission-critical applications are and what key employees and important data you have. Figure out what business capabilities/functions you would lose in a hurricane. Develop a solid communication plan that will help you keep in touch over the event of a hurricane. You need to test out the plan by using simulated disasters and drills, making sure the whole company understands the plan.

Experiencing an interruption in business from disaster-induced downtime will crush a business overnight. Larger business may have the capital to invest in extremely sophisticated business continuity and backup, but smaller businesses often remain without backup. Finding good IT support in Houston is possible if you know where to look.

How to Develop a Disaster Recovery Solution

Fortunately, there are many disaster recovery solutions for businesses. The key questions to ask are:

  1. What is the company’s size and how much data do we need to back up?

  2. What is our current data backup plan?

  3. How crucial are our company’s data/applications in conducting our daily business? What are the key applications that need disaster protection?

  4. In the event of a disaster, how long will it take us to recover? What is our expected recovery estimate in terms of time and budget?

  5. How much will downtime cost our company per hour and per day? Based on the figures generated, we must determine how much our company can pay to prevent loss of important data and profit.

Types of Data Backup for Businesses

Once we have done a thorough assessment of the business’ disaster recovery needs, we can look at different options for backup plans. There are a few available.

  1. Hot backups, also known as co-location, are when a 3rd party data center duplicates the company’s site — all servers, PC systems and backups of user data. So, if a disaster or interruption happens, the company can quickly be up and running again.

  2. Virtualization of servers. If a disaster strikes the business doesn’t need to be concerned with rebuilding applications or server because they’re stored offsite and can quickly be put back online.

  3. Cloud-based backups. The company’s files and basic infrastructure will be replicated and stored within the cloud. Then, if a disaster happens, the company’s site and business operations can run straight from the backup. This is a very cost effective solution because the company only pays for what it uses, and data stored in the cloud decreases data center space usage.

  4. Recovery management. Companies that don’t have a large IT staff to support disaster backup recoveries or just want to avoid having to do it themselves can implement a managed recovery plan through a vendor.

Be sure to also protect your equipment and your business site. Safeguarding the site’s facilities by having uninterruptible power supply, with generators and batteries, is critical to continue the business’ functions after a hurricane. Also think about supplying an alternate source of water and pumps to clear flood water from the facility’s basement. Boarding up windows and doors that are vulnerable on site if a warning has been issued will also help to reduce flying debris damage during a hurricane.

Conclusion

In the end, it is critical to have a good backup recovery plan for your small or medium business’ applications and data in the event of a Houston hurricane. Without one, you could be risking a huge loss of equipment, data, and money – or the entire business itself.

Finding good IT support in Houston is possible: TuiSpace will do a assessment as part of our IT support services. We’ll provide your business with great, affordable offsite backup solutions for any small and medium Houston business. Give us a call today to get started!

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