The value of your data
I’ve been upgrading some IT equipment this week and it prompted me to write a post on, let’s face it, not the most exciting topic but a really essential one. I don’t know about you, but when my broadband is down, it feels like I’m totally useless and my business comes to a crashing halt.
Think then about what happens if your hard drive dies and you loose all your data. With every month and year in business we gain valuable contacts and data and spend time creating all sorts of proposals, documents, files and fact sheets; imagine if it’s gone in a flash. The prospect is truly terrifying and many business fail to recover if they have a major data loss or at least suffer some really bad results.
So what options are there for small planning businesses who don’t have the support of an IT department to sort this for them? Whilst I claim to be no expert here are two options to consider if you haven’t already:
Online back up – companies such as http://www.datalifeline.net/ provide online off-site back up in their offices such that if your computer fails they can retrieve data for you remotely; you can set it to back up overnight and it happens automatically via the internet. This is of course also good if your computer is stolen, subject to flood, fire or other damage. With this company you choose which of your files you wish to back up and are basically charged on the volume of space that you purchase. Exact prices vary but can be around the £150-£300 mark per year.
External Desktop Hard Drive – available from all good IT stores and allows you to save your data onto a separate unit on a regular basis. You have to manually back up the data yourself but it literally takes 5 minutes in my case and I aim to do it once per week. The downside of course is that the external hard drive itself could be stolen, subject to fire or damage in the same way as the main computer so it’s worth storing it in a different location if you can to minimise the risk. External Hard Drives seem to cost less than £100 and it’s a one-off cost.
Naturally there is no right solution for everyone but these are just two we thought worth sharing.