Protecting Your Most Valuable Business Asset - Your Data

A quick Google search on data loss or data back-up will turn up staggering statistics:

  • 94% of companies that suffer a catastrophic data loss do not survive – 43% never reopen and 51% close within two years (University of Texas).
  • 7 out of 10 small businesses that experience a major data loss are out of business within one year (DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers).
  • 96% of all business workstations are not backed up (Contingency Planning and Strategic Research Corporation).
  • 25% of all PC users suffer from data loss each year (Gartner).
  • A hard drive crashes every 15 seconds.
  • 32% of data loss is caused by human error; 25% of lost data is due to the failure of a portable drive
  • A single incident of data loss costs businesses an average of $10,000 (Gartner Research).
  • Only 25% of computer users frequently back up their data.  37% back up less than once per month, 22% seldom back up, and 9% never back up their data (Realty Times).

Yes, Hard Drives Crash ... Frequently

Unfortunately, we know all too well that hard drives can crash, and we also know that portable hard drives can crash.  After our first experience with a hard drive crash, losing a lot of critical data, and paying an awful lot of money to have the data recovered, we learned our lesson.  Sort of.

We started backing up to a portable hard drive regularly.  Then regularly turned to frequently, which became periodically that turned to rarely.  Once we hit rarely, my computer crashed again.  It’s almost as if the tech-universe was teaching us a lesson - we stopped backing the data up so the computer crashed again.  We paid a lot of money (again) to recover the data.

Overall, we were lucky that the data could be recovered, even if it did come at a very high price tag.  After paying that bill for the second time, we got smart.  For the last several years, we have used online ‘cloud’ solutions for backing up the data.  Luckily, we got smart before we had a server crash and lost tens of thousands of files.  Because it was backed up, we installed a new hard drive in the server, restored all of the files, and were back up and running the next day as if nothing had happened.  That is the power and security of online back-up.

We have seen more drives crash (in laptops, desktops, and servers alike) and portable hard drives that fail or are lost than we care to talk about.  Replacing the hardware is the easy part, but for many businesses, it’s the data that is irreplaceable.  A study released by SCORE and HP talks about a business owner in Mississippi who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina.  The business owner was able to replace most of what she lost and rebuild her business, but could only remember about 150 of her 500 customers.  Eventually, another 200 customers found her again, but she still is missing about 150 customers.  Can you afford to lose 30% of your customer base because of data loss?

Back Up Your Data Today

For most business, data is the most important and valuable asset.  We take the time to protect and insure a lot of other assets, but somehow protecting data doesn’t always make the cut.  If you aren’t doing anything to back up your data, at the very least, buy a portable hard drive (they aren’t too expensive), and copy all of your business data onto it.  And, put a reminder in your calendar to copy it on a regular basis.  If you want something that is automatic and real-time that you don’t need to remember to do, talk to us about the online data back-up we use and recommend to clients.  Pricing depends on the volume of data you need to back-up, but most small business owners we work with find that the couple of dollars per day that it takes to protect their most valuable business asset is well worth it.