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Planning For Business Continuity

Planning For Business Continuity

No one wants to think about it, but in light of recent events it makes sense for every company to have in place a business continuity plan.

This might include installing a backup generator for power, having a second office available for re-location, and ensuring your insurance policy is current, relevant and up to date.

Some of the above may be more applicable for larger companies, however one element that’s 100% critical for ALL businesses regardless of size, is to keep an up to date copy your computer files.

Files can be lost instantly by a power surge, fire, flood, theft, virus and of course the most common risk – human error (i.e accidental deletion)!

This information is the lifeblood of your business, and needs to be backed up regularly, preferably by remote online data backup. Unlike your office or the computer itself, your computer files cannot be replaced, yet without them you have no business.

For most companies, files to be kept safe will include:

  • Databases
  • Client records
  • Presentations
  • Invoices
  • Emails
  • Historical work archives
  • Research
  • Digital photos

A simple risk assessment question to ask yourself:
'How long would my business survive if the files on my computer disappeared right now?'

Unless you have a current ‘back-up’ or copy of your information it is quite likely that your business will cease to operate for some time, if not indefinitely. So a Business Continuity system is a must.

There are a number of ways for you to make backup copies of your information, and these methods can be divided into 2 main categories.

  • Manual processes, which use recordable media such as tapes or disks.
  • Online backup services, which use your Internet connection to transfer data.

Manual processes rely on you carrying out the backup, rotating the media and then removing it off-site every day. Consequently they can be labour intensive, costly and in addition the media can be unreliable (i.e disks can be scratched).

For this reason, many companies are now signing up to automatic online backups, which via a small piece of software backup your information securely and automatically each day for you.

Furthermore your information is stored safely off-site so when disaster strikes your files are completely safe and can be instantly restored to any machine. It’s human nature to think ‘it’ll never happen to me’, however it is more accurate to think ‘when will this happen to me’.

Don’t gamble with your business, put in place a business continuity plan today and include automatic data backup software as part of this. It’s worth noticing that many insurance policies in the UK demand or provide backup services so it’s worth seeking out these requirements.

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