Your company produces based on information whether it is stored in a database, in documents stored on a server or in someone’s head. Backups of this information is essential to your business’s survival. Here are some basic survival points to help you in building a workable backup plan.
1. Test your backups
Stop right now and pretend your hard drive just crashed. Using another computer try to find what you need to get your work done. Can you check your email? Can you access files that you need to complete the task you were just working on. Can you gain access to your websites that you normally keep stored in your browser?
2. Look at the cost.
What will down time actually cost you? Is it just a couple of spreadsheets and documents that would only take a couple hours to reproduce? If you spend time working on rebuilding what you have lost that takes away from the time you could have spent building something new. Will your project be delayed or disrupt a delivery date to a customer?
3. Document the location of your files.
You should have a non-digital hard copy of the most essential usernames, passwords, and locations of files. Put this in a flame proof safe offsite and update it regularly. I recommend quarterly. Three trusted people should have access to the documents location in order to maintain continuity.
4. Call in an outside source.
I would love for every company to hire our company to design their backup plan. I know that in the real world this isn’t going to happen. Many times you have to use in house people and trust that your information is secure. Hire a professional to come examine it and make sure all is well. You will be glad you did.
This isn’t a comprehensive guide on how to build your information backup plan. I just want to get you started thinking about key things that will provide long term benefits.