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What’s Your Data Backup Plan?

Have you ever experienced that gut-wrenching feeling – when out of nowhere – your computer just freezes on you? Why does it seem to happen when you’ve just spent hours putting together a spreadsheet of your monthly business finances or developed a new client proposal? You stare at the screen biting your lip – hoping you haven’t lost your work.  The waiting seems endless as the hourglass keeps spinning. Then, the devastating message: Your program is “Not Responding” and you have to reboot.  You hope your computer will turn back on without a hitch, all the while stressed about what you’re going to do if it doesn’t.

How about your computer crashed for some unknown reason – perhaps a virus infiltrated your PC – and you haven’t a clue whether or not all of your business data: email files, customer records, contacts, invoices, financials, presentations, brochures – will even be recoverable?

I speak from experience and data loss is definitely something you want to avoid at all costs. I heard the horror stories, but never got around to backing up my files.  I always said to myself, “It’ll never happen to me.” Well, famous last words.  A few years back, I turned on my computer one morning and got a blue screen.  Nothing happened, so I rebooted thinking it was nothing, but still got the same blue screen.  Then I really started to worry.  My worst fear was now my reality: my hard drive crashed and I lost all my files.  It took me countless hours to reproduce documents and make phone calls to see if any of my colleagues still had any of the reports and spreadsheets I had previously sent them. Not to mention all the email addresses and contacts I had to reestablish. Needless to say, I’ve learned my lesson and have a backup plan for my data.

 If you’re a business owner, data loss is not an option for you.  You’re way too busy with running your business; you can’t afford downtime.  And, nowadays, many businesses are keeping digital records; the era of a paper trail is becoming a records management method of the past. Preparedness is key.  Your business is your livelihood.  Be proactive, not reactive.

 Don’t be a statistic.  Did you know:

  • 31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control
  • It is estimated that 70% of people don’t back up their data
  • Nearly two-thirds of U.S. small businesses do not have an emergency or disaster preparedness plan in place. (American Red Cross)
  • 60% of businesses that lost their data will likely shut down within 6 months of a disaster
  • Recovering data from failed hard drives is very expensive: $500-$2500 or more, and success is not guaranteed

 So, why is remote data backup so critical to your business? Here are some top reasons to think about:

  1. Business Continuity:  By eliminating the threat of data loss, your business data is retained and available in the event of a disaster so you business isn’t interrupted
  2. Data Protection:  Your business files are backed up and securely stored to a remote location, should you experience computer problems or loss
  3. Data Accessibility:  You can access your business data using an internet connection, and from any  web connected device such as a tablet or smartphone
  4. Peace of Mind:  You have the confidence of knowing your data is protected and accessible, while in, or out, of the office – from your own computer or someone else’s
  5. Cost Efficient: Data backup is a cost efficient means of record management with affordable options and flexible pricing to fit into your budget
  6. Productivity: With scheduled backups, employees no longer have to spend time trying to find and recover missing files – they can retrieve files easily. Some solutions feature sharing and collaboration capabilities.

To help shine new light on the importance of small businesses being prepared and offer simple, proactive steps to preparedness, AT&T launched an online digital tool, “Safeguard Your Business” earlier this month. On the site, you can take the interactive “Quick Check for Disaster Prep” quiz to quickly assess the state of preparedness or “readiness” of your business for emergencies and disasters, based on responses to 10 simple questions. You can even enter into a sweepstakes to win a year’s subscription to AT&T Tech Support 360SM Premium PLUS, a comprehensive computer and pc data backup solution.

Do you have a backup plan?  What would you do if you if you lost all of your critical information necessary for you to do business?  Tell me your story!

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More Stories By Steve Caniano

Steve Caniano is VP, Hosting, Application & Cloud Services at AT&T Business Solutions. As leader of AT&T's global Hosting, Application and Cloud infrastructure business, he is instrumental in forging key partner alliances and scaling AT&T's cloud services globally. He regularly collaborates with customers and represents AT&T at key industry events like Cloud Expo.