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Backups – Cost of Failure


After years in the IT business it has become quite evident that most people do not backup their data.  It is a weekly occurrence in this office when the phone rings and the panicked caller presents the problem of a computer system that has crashed, pleading for hope and assurance that everything can be restored and functional once again.  I calmly assure them that certainly, everything can be set back to exactly how it was, as soon as we restore the backups. Then the real dread sets in on the other side of the phone as they shakily confess they have none.

In the last three weeks I have received three of those calls. Two had no backups to speak of costing those businesses thousands of dollars in man hours to recreate and re-input years of information. But the third business did have backups. Automated, remotely monitored 24 hours a day with email notification in case of failure.  The day their bookkeeping machine died was the day before payroll needed to be done for 40 employees.  With their proactive approach to data backup, their computer was successfully up and running with data restored in less than 24 hours, with all employees paid on time. Needless to say that the client and I were extremely grateful that functioning backups were in place.

For the few of you that do backup your data whether it is personal business or both, first let me say thank you.  Now let me ask you this – have you ever attempted to restore the data?  The reason I ask, if you have never successfully restored a data backup then you certainly do not know if it really works. Your backup program may say, “Everything is backed up and great!” however that may be an untruth.

Recently a client asked to have her automated online backups checked.  We opened the program together and it stated backups were functioning and current. But then we attempted a restore of data just to be sure it would really work, and it failed. The backup services she had been paying for through a well known popular backup program were not working.

Here are the results of a survey and other statistical facts surrounding DR (Disaster Recover) from Infrascale:

  • 40% of businesses rated their organization’s ability to recover their operation in the event of disaster as fair to poor

  • 36% of companies want disaster recovery but believe they cannot afford it

  • The cost of business downtime due to data loss can run up to $8000 per hour for busy small businesses

  • 95% of businesses with data loss were for reasons unrelated to natural disaster

If you think “I don’t need to backup, I do everything in the cloud already,” here are some stats from Datto that may make you want to reconsider that thought:

  • 47% of enterprises lost data in the cloud and had to restore their information from backups

  • 37% of SMBs have lost data in the cloud and had to restore their information from backups

  • 66% of those organizations saw recovery operations fail

After reading that you may be considering going back to using an abacus, chisel and stone. That is not necessary. There are a wide array of simple and effective cost efficient backup solutions for all types users. We will discuss in detail what those are and best solutions for DR next week.