Do you need offsite backup and storage? Yes you do, and probably more
It’s been best practice for a long time now for businesses to use an offsite backup service, but many people don’t seem to realize how important this service really is. It’s worth going over some of the less obvious parts of backup systems to cover all the angles. There are differences between live systems and backups, and they’re more complex than they look.
Backups and basic issues
The original purpose of offsite backups was to ensure data preservation in the event of system damage, power outages, etc. This is still the primary role of backups, but there’s a lot of other things backups can now do:
Records support: Information can go missing on live systems for any number of reasons, and when it’s info or data regarding statutorily-required records, you must have access to some backup system. This sort of work can no longer be done by hard copy systems, so backups are the only option.
Information integrity and fraud-proofing: If you’ve ever been “blessed” with information tampering, or other unpleasant situations, like fraud, cover-ups etc, you’ll be well aware of the need for a reliable system of checks to spot these things. It’s easy enough to tamper with live systems, but extremely difficult to access backups. Your backups will be able to provide you with a map of any attempt to tamper with your data.
Historical data: This doesn’t sound too important at first glance, but the fact is that much of the history of a business entity is in fact only available on backup. Regular reporting and other procedures progressively shift focus from information which may be critically important. Some business issues, like invoices, receipts, and other basic business functions are only recorded on backups after a certain date.
Legal information: Other types of legal information are pretty important, too. Contract management, OHS and business management systems generate a lot of data, all of which, naturally, has to be backed up. The fact is that the backups are the only repository of all this information in one easily accessible place, outside the live system. This is quite literally the entire legal history of a business, and it’s pricelessly important.
Security: One of the more dreaded issues covered by offsite data storage backups is security. The backups provide an uncorrupted source of data, in the event of a security breach, attacks by malware, hackers, or other disasters. The backups are effectively a “system restore” point for your business.
Do you need more backup space? Yes, you do
If the functional reasons for having basic backups are persuasive, the reasons for getting some more backup space are even more so.
It’s best to be prepared for demands for space with your backups. There are several issues to be considered when getting more backup room for your business:
Data loads: The amount and complexity of data generated by businesses increases exponentially over time. It’s advisable to project at least a 40-50% increase in data volumes over a 5 year period on principle.
Projects: Any business activity outside the core business zone will also require backing up. The same legal, financial and functional issues apply to these “external” operations, and projects can generate a huge amount of data.
Cloud backup options: The online backups have the advantage of being easily accessible, and very functional for New Economy businesses which may need to move and share a lot of data online.