What Good Is Backup If You Can’t Recover Your Information?

In researching offsite data backup and recovery services, I’ve read a number of horror stories about business owners that subscribed to (and paid for) an online backup service for many months, only to find that they could not actually recover their information when they needed to. Why would this happen?

In fact, such “horror stories” are not uncommon in the online data backup and recovery industry. This is the unfortunate reality for several reasons:

1) Business owners download and install the online backup software of their choice all on their own.

This is a huge mistake.

Why? Because these business owners are experts in their fields-like coaching, speaking, writing, marketing, sales, retail etc.-but are not experts when it comes to technology, their computers, and their digital information.

They know how to use their computers, but they certainly couldn’t take apart and rebuild them. Likewise, they don’t have a full understanding of how (and where) their information is actually stored on their computer’s hard drive.

And here’s a fact: no two computers save information in exactly the same directories, folders and files.

So how can one downloadable “standard” backup program, that non-tech-savvy business owners set up themselves, possibly find and backup all of the critical and proprietary information stored on their computer?

It’s impossible.

So what happens? The downloadable backup software doesn’t get installed and set up properly in the first place. Information is missed, and because this information is not initially included in the backup set, it never gets backed up … and therefore cannot be recovered.

2) Cost conscious business owners trust their critical information to the cheapest backup service they can find on the web, and later find out that no systems are in place to monitor the completion of their backup, and no alarms are triggered when their backup is not successful.

You really do get what you pay for. Don’t make the mistake of bargain shopping when it comes to protecting the information that allows you to earn a living and support your family.

Just do the math.

If you’re thinking about paying $5/month to automatically backup and store offsite all of your emails, teleseminars, pdf files, prospect lists, client database, accounting files, office documents, photographs and image files, you’re thinking about protecting the future of your business with the “best deal” going.

But what you don’t know is that the “best deal” is so darn cheap because it’s running on automatic in the worst sense of the word. Just think: $5/month cannot possibly pay for a team of qualified storage specialists to monitor and test your backups on a daily basis.

There is no team of people behind a $5/month backup service. No one is checking to make sure that your backup is actually happening every day. No one will call you if your backup stops working. No one cares. Even your credit card gets charged automatically every month, no matter if your backup completed a single time in the last 30 days, or NOT.

3) New applications are installed on the business computer, but the business owner fails to manually add these new files to their downloaded backup system, or they fail to notify their full-service backup provider about the new programs.

New programs must be added to your backup set, or the information will not be stored.

If you invest in a full-service online backup service, you will receive regular reminders to contact them should new applications be installed on your computers. At which point, their storage specialists will connect remotely to your computers, and make the adjustments to your backup set so that all of your new files are also backed up on a daily basis.

If you are thinking about downloading your backup software from the web, you must familiarize yourself with the steps to add new files to your backup set, and trust that the software will recognize and backup your new programs.

Automated offsite backup services are the absolute best way to protect the future of your business, but none of these services are psychic. Software programs such as these are not intuitive, so they don’t realize that a new application has been installed on your computer. And if they don’t know that these new files exist, they can’t include them in your backup set.

In this regard, business owners must be diligent in communicating with their backup service providers to ensure that ALL of their critical information is being backed up every day.

In conclusion, making the decision to backup your business is an investment that can literally save you from bankruptcy, and protect all of the hours, dollars, blood, sweat and tears that you’ve invested thus far in building your business. It’s one of the smartest decisions that you can make as a business owner. And you should absolutely research and compare these backup services.

My advice, clearly, is to invest in a full-service online, automated backup solution, with a team of storage specialists that install and set up the backup application for you, personally monitor your backup, and contact you immediately if your backup is not completing successfully.

Because otherwise, your may just have your own horror story to tell.

Copyright 2007 – Blue Melnick. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, and include the following byline:

Blue Melnick is the Co-Founder and Lead Storage Specialist of Virtual Tape Drive Canada and Crash Ready Backup. Blue invites you to contact him through www.CrashReady.com or by phone at 416-462-3323. Not sure if online data backup is right for you? Why not sign up for Biz Link News -Blue’s free ezine-to learn more about how this new technology can “save” your business?

About The Author

Rob Cosgrove / http://remote-backup.com

Rob Cosgrove is President of Remote Backup Systems, developers of the fully brandable RBackup Online Backup software platform, powering more than 9,500 Service Providers, MSPs and VARs wordwide since 1987. He is the founder of the Online Backup industry and author of several books, the most recent, "The Online Backup Guide for Service Providers", available at Amazon.com and bookstores. http://remote-backup.com