Backup Backup Backup!!!
As a long time IT guy (geek) I can tell you that the 1 thing that keeps me up at night is the thought of data loss for any of my clients
The #1 job of any IT pro is data protection. anyone that has any other answer has much to learn in this field.
Any computer can be replaced but the data that's on it.. priceless!
So lets talk a bit about data backup Plans..
The Hope I Remember Plan
This is when we rely on a staff member to remember that every Friday night before she starts work that it's her job to copy all the companies data to a jump drive, or DVD or whatever device the company is using.. The problem with this plan is .. well people forget! you may go years without any reason to use a backup. This in itself tends to give off the idea that data backup is not the top priority, In time that weekly data backup becomes every 2 weeks, than once a month. followed by when i remember and the last stage. I don't remember when the last time I backed up..
I have seen times when a server went down and the backup was over 2 years old... The lady that was doing it.. retired and forgot to pass the job on, Or she forgot and got in the habit of not doing it... Can you imagine logging in 1 day finding the server dead and 2+ years of data lost. whats it going to cost you to have someone reenter 2 years worth of QuickBooks or any other program you use for billing or receiving. Or 2 years worth of word documents just .. Poof gone...
The Set & Forget Plan
I see this one more then most.. A backup program gets setup, However nobody monitors it. Folks the best programs in the world can stop running for many reasons. just because you paid for the backup drives does not mean they can run unchecked for week, months or in some cases years without being checked. How do you know your backup program ran last night? If you don't know that answer you should figure it out NOW.... you need a link on your desktop that you can quickly check every day and be sure your backup ran as intended! I have be called in to many new clients who thought they had a backup running only to find out it stopped working months ago.. I can tell you it's know fun having to tell a client that the backup they had in place stopped working months ago.
The I don't need a backup Plan
Yes I have had this one pop up many times! followed by things like well I use quickbooks on that system and I back that up all the time when it tells me too. My reply to that is to open up Outlook (mail) documents and Pictures, contacts, favorites and things like that and ask 1 question. "If you came in one day and all that was gone would it effect you in a negative way".. the answer is always yes. and my reply is always the same...."you need a backup"
The I have a cloud backup I'm set!
Maybe!! But I'm not a huge fan of putting my client list up to some random companies so called cloud server! My quickbooks files has all the information anyone would ever need to just trash the crap out of my credit and my companies credit.. I'm old school and I know that. However make sure that the cloud service you use is insured and on the up and up.. Data breaches are up all over the world. some huge companies are getting hacked.. Do you want your data to be part of that? neither do I..
I have a cloud based solution in the works.. I'm in the middle of testing it and I'm pretty happy about what I have seen so far, When I'm all the way happy and feel my clients data is going to be safe I'll add it to our services. Till then stay tuned
In the mean time make sure that "Cloud" company you are using is not in truth 'Fred's basement server on the cloud" cause if Freds mom gets mad and pulls the plug cause he is playing way too much grand theft Auto and not working.. your data is at risk.
I am a huge fan of External Hard drives and NAS units that are used as backup systems!
As long as someone is indeed checking that the backup is running as intended! and that the drives are being swapped as intended things work great! However I only suggest this to clients that we work with and see about once a month or more.. Why? Because while we are onsite for whatever reason we check on the backups and make sure they are running.. w
We play safety net and take some of the risk out of the package. many of my clients will tell you they get emails and or facebooks messages reminding them to check backups! Problem is not every Client is on my facebook page or reads my e-mails..
We Handle the Backup Swaps..
We come onsite once every 2 weeks and we swap out the backup drives. We take one of the drives back to our shop an store it in a fireproof cabinet. This Gives our clients a off site safe copy as well as the onsite backup.. meaning that if something breaks.. we have the data in our hands.. remember you can always replace a PC.. But lost data is no fun for anyone... we do this service at a reduced rate. upfront cost is simply the cost of the drive solution that fits your companies needs. No contracts are required. and we all get to sleep better at night! Some of the best office managers I've met have got busy and forgot about backups.. this takes care of that problem.
As I stated in the above section I am working with a very reliable cloud company who's product we are testing out. Once in place we will have a private server who is only accusable to our clients for backup and each client account will have access to only there section of the drive that keeps there data in place. This will give us a way to setup automatic backups where I can monitor the data every day.. meaning it will be hands free and will not the client or us to swap backup drives. Giving us a private server with a very solid company and allowing us to handle most problems remotely. I hope to be able to announce this service in the next few weeks. Stay Tuned!
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