Offsite Backup Should be a Priority for NC Businesses

To Staff or Not to Staff: IT Options for Your Business
February 6, 2012

If your business doesn't have an offsite backup plan, it's leaving disaster recovery to chance for one of its most valuable properties: data.

Some of our favorite commercials on television are the ones featuring Allstate’s “Mayhem.” In these ads, the dastardly rogue demonstrates all the pitfalls a driver might face on the road, be it a malfunctioning GPS or skittish animal. One minute everything’s fine; the next, disaster.

Regardless of the provider, chances are that your business pays for insurance. Few companies would risk leaving disaster recovery to chance. But if your business doesn’t have an offsite backup plan, that’s exactly what it’s doing with one of its most valuable properties: data.

Consider this. The year 2011 was one of the costliest ever for businesses. The North Carolina (NC) district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) oversaw 1,244 loans of approximately $480 million. By the SBA’s own admission this was “the largest dollar amount approved in a single year in the history of the office.” Hurricanes, tornadoes, and a rough economy all played a hand in this hardship. Even with financial assistance, though, a business without proper offsite backup measures in place may face overwhelming odds to recover.

So, just what does offsite backup involve?

Storage Amount and Price

How much space will backing up all of your company’s data take? Some companies only provide a limited amount of storage, which can quickly get used up. Plan not just for the needs your business has today, but where you want to be in the future. The more your company grows, the more it will require from its offsite backup plan.

Time & Other Investments

The price of storage alone isn’t the only cost your business needs to consider when deciding on an offsite backup strategy. Here are some questions to consider:

  • How much time will it take?
    That answer will depend on how often your business needs to perform a backup. Lots of gigabytes uploading to an offsite server means you need to plan when your business can afford to allow all those resources to be used toward that purpose. After hours backups may mean less of a traffic jam and less time needed for the offsite backup.
  • Will any onsite personnel be needed?
    Depending on what’s required, that person will need to be trained on how to utilize the system and will need to be available to work at the time your backup needs to be performed. Often, though, a good IT company will mitigate the need for onsite personnel.
  • Do you need to upgrade your network?
    If you’ve already noticed your Internet connection struggling just to open an email attachment, chances are your business needs to invest in more bandwidth in order to accommodate a thorough data recovery method. However, if your company has a decent business class internet connection and the backup plan is setup correctly, then a stronger connection may not be necessary.
A corrupted hard drive isn't an emergency with offsite backup.
Ross, John. “Hard Drive 016.” Photograph. Flickr, 3 October 2007. Web

Don’t let all this nickel-and-dime talk depress you: there are lots of affordable choices out there for businesses of all sizes to pursue. You can read comparisons of some of the more common low-end options over at PC World and PC Magazine.

Here at Cii Technology Solutions we’ve developed good working relationships with multiple reliable backup vendors. Not only can we point businesses in the right direction when it comes to offsite backup, but as a partner we are able to provide local NC businesses with a “man on the ground” for help. When it comes to quickly getting everything up and running again after a disaster, don’t underestimate how helpful it can be to have someone on the other end of the phone who knows exactly what you’re going through.

Hopefully we’ve helped you start thinking about how important offsite backup is and provided a starting place for your business to begin considering its options. If you’d like to receive help choosing the right plan for your needs, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Remember, the important thing is to develop a plan ahead of any mayhem may throw at your business. In the case of NC offsite backups, this is one area your business can’t afford not to consider.