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A Disaster Waiting To Happen

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If the data on your home PC, from personal documentation to holiday photographs, is important to you, making a backup is vital. For a business, making a safe, reliable and accessible backup of all key data is not only a legal prerequisite in many cases, it’s also an absolute necessity for your business’ survival.

So why should you make a backup of your data? Hardware, including the most conventional forms of backup equipment such as tape or disc, is open to failure over time, plus wear which could make data irretrievable. More seriously, there’s the element of disaster: a fire, flood or theft striking your business.

But surely a disaster is unlikely to strike? As we saw recently in Hereford, a fire can happen at any time. Floods occur in certain areas virtually every year without fail, and theft, especially where thousands of pounds worth of IT equipment is concerned, remains a risk. In fact, The London Chamber of Commerce reports that as many as 20 per cent of all businesses – that’s one in five! – are victims of a variety of disaster at some stage in their life span.

What could a disaster mean to your business and what could the impact be to your business data? In practical terms, it could mean losing your customer and prospective customer database; it could mean losing stock records; you may lose accounts records including issued invoices; employee and payroll information may be lost; your business may be without case or project documentation; all of your correspondence, including letters and e-mails may be destroyed.

Statistically, The London Chamber of Commerce reports that 90 per cent of businesses which lose data as a result of a disaster are forced to close within two years. 43 per cent of companies which suffer a disaster never reopen. Facing odds like these, the decision not to take a robust approach to your disaster recovery plan is not a workable situation for any business.

I meet businesses in Cheltenham on a daily basis who still do not have a strong, practical disaster recovery plan in place, primarily because they believe that ‘it won’t happen to them’.

Unfortunately, such a policy towards a disaster is not supported by the statistics. What’s more, businesses which share this attitude are those likely to suffer most when a disaster strikes. No business can afford such an option.

In the next issue we’ll discuss the options available to secure the most robust disaster recovery plan, with the most rapid return to service. In addition, readers of The Cheltonian are currently being offered a free, no obligation Disaster Recovery Analysis. Give me a call on 01299 873 873 or e-mail mark.simmonds@ogl.co.uk for more information. For further details on how you can secure an effective DR plan visit:

http://www.ogl.co.uk/Disaster_recovery