Name a business that would invest in big-ticket items like new laptops for all employees without first buying an all-inclusive warranty? Drawing a blank? Why, then, are companies so willing to gamble with the data stored on those same machines?
The reasons, say experts: a lack of awareness, confusion about what information needs to be protected and the perception that data backup costs a lot of money. Well, here's an eye-opening look at the high price of doing nothing.
The Odds of a Data Loss
First, there's Murphy's Law: If something bad can happen, it will — eventually. In a study last year by Spiceworks, 45 percent of SMB IT leaders said their company had lost data, and 14 percent of those said they were never able to recover it. Businesses shouldn't underestimate how easily a hard drive can crash or human error can erase data for good.
The High Price of Not Keeping Records
Second, there can be stiff consequences when data goes missing. Companies that are, for instance, publicly traded or highly regulated, such as banks, are required by law to back up emails, company Facebook activity — even Twitter posts. British banking giant Barclays learned that lesson the hard way after U.S. regulators fined the company $3.75 million for failing to save email attachments, instant messages and other key information.
Part of the problem is that companies don't always understand fully what "data" means. Data covers any information that is emailed, posted to social media, processed, collected and stored. Another part of the problem is that business owners themselves don't always have the technical know-how to understand what backup options exist — and which ones would be best for them, writes Deni Connor, founding analyst at Storage Strategies NOW, in the Spiceworks survey.
Technology vendors are aware of this naiveté, and have responded. They offer image backup systems, for example, that will automatically back up all company data so business owners don't have to decide what's expendable, and what's not.
Overblown Worries About Budgets
Storage costs are cheaper than ever. Too often, though, businesses assume it's a big investment and try to take shortcuts or do nothing at all. Instead of backing up all their data, for instance, they'll separate company information into tiers based on its perceived value. Data on the lower tier, which is generally seen as more expendable, is rarely — if ever — backed up. But tiered-based backup systems are increasingly difficult to manage given the ever-growing bytes of data businesses collect.
Online storage technologies make backup quick and easy, and they often pay for themselves in the long run. "SMBs spend an average of $5,700 annually to manage their backup processes, and the reality is that one data loss experience is usually enough to justify this spend," writes Connor, the Storage Strategies NOW analyst.
Consider this: Is a relatively small expense now worth it to avoid joining the 94 percent of companies that go under following a major data loss?
Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 2,000 employees in 45 locations. Acronis Cyber Protect solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 18,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.