Ask a few IT professionals if you should be concerned about hard drive failure, and you’ll hear a common refrain:
Something like, “It’s not a question of if, but of when,” or “It’s just a matter of time.” Because you’ll experience some sort of data loss at some point – unless you prepare yourself.
Data loss can occur for of any number of reasons. Hardware failure, human error, fire, flood, hackers and even disgruntled employees can all wreak havoc on your data. So it is absolutely essential to implement a reliable backup solution BEFORE disaster strikes.
Some Data Types are More Important than Others
Although it is always best to avoid losing data to begin with, not all types of data loss are equal. If something wipes out your hard drive and all you lose is Windows or some other operating system, it’s not too big a deal. It might be time-consuming, but you can just reinstall the OS and be on your way. In most cases, operating systems are a breeze to replace these days.
But what if you had important letters, contracts, spreadsheets, pictures and other critical files on that same hard drive? Then things become much more painful. For most Microsoft Office users, these are the types of critical files commonly produced, and often they’re irreplaceable. So you have to do everything you can to prevent their potential loss – or risk the consequences.
Why You Need to Backup Microsoft Office
Even with Microsoft Office documents and files, some are more important than others. But the general rule of thumb is that if a file was important enough to save in the first place, then it’s probably worth backing up.
Realistically, if you were to lose a few template letters or contract documents, you could probably just rewrite them. But if you have to spend a lot of time recreating documents, then you’re losing both time and money.
Consider how much time it takes you to compose a well-written letter. Regardless of its purpose, chances are good it takes more than a few minutes to write, edit, proofread and format. Now multiply that time by the number of documents saved on your system or network. It adds up quickly, doesn’t it?
It is much less of a hassle and much less expensive to back up your data, even if you’re a home user. And if you use Microsoft Office for your business, a good backup strategy could save you thousands of dollars or more.
Finding the Right Backup Solution
Just as there are countless ways to lose your data, there are also many different ways to protect it. Ask 10 different people about the best way to back up your Microsoft Office data and you’ll get 10 different answers. Suggestions might range from simply saving your files to a USB thumb drive to something as complex as implementing a sophisticated network storage platform.
It’s no secret that any kind of backup method is better than none at all. So if all you have is a USB drive, then by all means use it to store your Microsoft Office backup data.
But there are certainly more effective ways to back up Microsoft Office data or create a business backup of your important documents, emails, and templates, regardless of whether you choose to store data on-site or off. There are merits to both types of storage. On one hand, keeping your data on a local drive locked in a vault will keep it away from hackers and protect it from malware and ransomware. On the other hand, a fire or other calamity could leave you scrambling to find ways to replace or reproduce your lost data.
These days, off-site or cloud storage is generally considered a better option than backing up to local drives. But cloud storage is not without risks. Some cloud storage data centers are less secure than others, which means your valuable Microsoft Office data could be compromised if strict security protocols are not followed. Always make sure to ask questions of cloud storage vendors to make sure their policies and facilities meet proper security requirements.
Ultimately, the best approach is to follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy:
- Create three copies of your data so no single event can wipe out everything.
- Save them to two different formats, like an internal drive and external media (disk, USB, cloud, etc.).
- Keep one copy off-site to protect against a physical disasters like theft, fire or flooding.
Earlier we touched on how costly data loss can be for a business. It’s important to understand why.
With today’s litigious and regulatory business environment, maintaining legal documents, contracts and compliance records is essential. If you don’t properly back up your data and are forced to recreate important business documents or contracts, the costs incurred from attorneys, accountants, consultants and other professionals can be astronomical.
But there are other intangible costs to consider. If you lose important contracts, correspondence or documents connected with your customers, it will erode their confidence in your company’s methods and procedures. Ultimately, you risk losing their business.
If your business or organization uses desktop versions of Microsoft Office applications, there are plenty of backup solutions that can do the job for you reliably – if you implement an effective backup strategy and stick with it. However, if your company creates Microsoft documents and emails in the cloud, options for Office 365 backup aren’t quite as abundant.
Microsoft does a relatively good job of securing Office 365 data. But even good security protocols won’t help your company if a disgruntled system admin, armed with a few passwords, decides to do some damage. When it comes to backing up cloud and Office 365 data effectively, admin segmentation is just as important as platform diversity for a secure Office 365 backup plan. The moral of the story – don’t rely on one platform or one person to back up your important Office or Office 365 data.
Home or Business - Acronis Offers the Best Solutions for Microsoft Office Backups
So now you know why backup is so important. But you might still be wondering about the best backup solution for you or your company. That’s the easy part – Acronis, of course. Acronis True Image makes it super simple for home users to back up their PCs and mobile devices. Just two clicks and you’ve securely backed up all your important Microsoft Office data.
If your business requires more sophisticated options, Acronis Backup 12.5 offers cutting-edge Office 365 backup solution that ensures high availability and encryption for your applications and data. Used in conjunction with Acronis Cloud Storage, Acronis Backup 12.5 can help you ensure that your Office data is always available and accessible – even when things go really bad.