Unless you’re ok with losing your data, you have to back it up. Here’s how the story normally goes: You have a computer that you never backed up and one day you try to turn it on and nothing happens. You panic because ALL of your files are on the computer. It’s at that hopeless and helpless moment that data backup becomes important to you.

Has that happened to you? If not, I want to guarantee you that it will. If you’re not yet backing up your data somehow, now is a great time to start. Don’t let disaster be your motivator.

Backing up a computer or two is easy. There are plenty of residential backup solutions on the market that are cheap and easy to use. As a business owner, things get more complicated because you often have to back up a server and multiple computers.

åMost residential grade solutions don’t work on a server and in a commercial environment, you’re often backing up more than just Microsoft Word documents. Unless you know how to repair the problem that caused the crash and you know how to work inside server environments using terminal commands, you’re going to need some professional help.

How Do Commercial Backups Work?

There are a number of ways to backup the IT systems at your workplace but here are my favorites:

1.) Your systems send a copy of themselves to another machine either onsite, offsite, or both. If disaster happens, somebody rebuilds everything using the copies. This can take either hours of days depending on the nature of the problem. Not my favorite solution but one that works providing your business can still function without data.

2.) Your systems are backed up offsite in a working environment. If disaster happens, you are instantly switched to the backup systems. No downtime.

Of course, the best solution is #2 but it’s a little more expensive than #1 on a monthly basis but far less expensive if you account for how much downtime you would experience to recover with backup system #1.

The Piece You’re Missing

If you have a backup system in place, pat yourself on the back but when was the last you tested the backup? When did you last simulate a disaster and go through the restore process?

We recommend running a mock disaster every 6 months to test the quality of your backup solution. Waiting until an actual crash is a really bad time to put your backup to the test, right? What if it wasn’t set up correctly?

If you have a current IT company helping you with backups, ask them to run a mock disaster and show you that the backups are working.

If you don’t have a backup solution, please contact me. If you don’t purchase through us, I’m ok with that but I want to help you figure all of this out. Insurance seems useless until it’s your lifeline back to full operation. Backups are one form of IT insurance.

And PS…If you use some sort of management software that is cloud-based, you still need a backup. Do you want an outside company as the sole keeper of your business-critical data?

PPS…your website needs backed up too.