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As we work in the cloud we hear lots of stories from both customers and accountants and the following is atypical of someone that has one foot in the cloud and the other firmly planted in the old way of storing data.

You are working in your office as you are placing invoice amounts into your computer and ensuring payments have been made to vendors when suddenly the power goes out. The monitor screen goes dark as there is nothing you can do to get back into the accounting software. When the power comes back on, you are able to breathe a sigh of relief. The accounting software you use automatically creates backups so you don’t lose any data information.

Unfortunately, your employees’ computers did not fare so well during the power outage. Records and data are missing, hampering daily operations. Your employees spend the rest of the day inputting missing data back into your databases.

Data backup a necessity for small businesses

Very few businesses can go through daily operations without using some type of computer system. Whether you are scheduling car repair appointments or taking order payments, you are gathering and using different types of data. This data is important to your operations as well as your record keeping for tax purposes. Yet there are a number of ways that you can lose this data:

  • natural disasters, such as fire or flooding, destroying computers
  • negligent or intentional data erasure by employees
  • lost or stolen computer systems
  • cyberattacks designed to crash network systems
  • malware and viruses corrupts computer hardware

By implementing data backup, you can retrieve data, applications and network configurations to get your operations running again with the least amount of downtime that can negatively impact revenue. Many cloud-based applications have automatic backup configurations so you don’t have to manually backup data for certain applications and computer systems.

Selecting the right data backup

There are many different types of data backup available. So you can select the one that fits into your business budget and gives you peace of mind that you can retrieve data if there is a problem. Offline backup options include placing data on offline media such as DVDs, CDs, Blu-rays and tape drives. Online backup can include online backup services, private clouds, NAS and DAS storage. Most small businesses will invest in both online and offline data backup so they always have access to a copy of their data in case a problem affects their other data backup system.

Selecting the right data backup will also be based on the amount of information that your business needs to operate. When trying to back up large volumes of client and customer data, the costs can add up. So understanding what data you really need to save for certain periods of time and what data can be deleted allows you to better manage your information systems. Before backing up computer data, here are several tips to keep in mind.

  • remove redundant and obsolete data
  • encrypt data to prevent data breach compromises
  • store offline data backup media in a secure location
  • old offline data backup media should have the information completely removed before being destroyed

Small businesses can no longer ignore the equipment and revenue costs they will face if something goes wrong with their computer systems. Invest in a periodic data backup plan and systems so your operations can keep running.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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