As news of the recent fires and hurricanes continue to dominate the news, I can’t help but think that there’s a part of the story that’s being overlooked. The human toll is, of course, the most concerning, and the news has rightfully focused on the cleanup and rebuilding, as thousands are dealing with severe damage to, or complete loss of, their homes. But I also think about the hundreds of small and mid-sized businesses that have also experienced significant losses.
Customer and company data is the lifeblood of most businesses. If it’s lost, the company’s continued survival will be difficult, at best. Yet studies show that over 20 percent of all small businesses do not keep copies of their data – on-site, where a natural or other site-wide disasters can destroy the business in an instant. No matter where your business resides, it is located in the path of natural disasters. As a California native, I have to include earthquakes or fires in my disaster plan. Business owners in other parts of the country need to consider hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. Floods are possible throughout most of the country. And, of course, all of us are vulnerable to fires, regardless of location.
So ask yourself,
As harsh as it may sound, the reality is that if you only keep one copy of your business-critical data, or if the original and backup reside in the same physical location, your business is at serious risk. Until you have a continuously-updated copy of your data stored at an offsite location – whether at a colocation facility or in the cloud – a site-wide disaster can destroy everything you’ve worked so hard to build. And if you think about it, this is truly the easiest business risk to safeguard! Whether you approach the solution by using cloud storage or by replicating it to an offsite location, you can sleep easier knowing that your data is truly protected, regardless of what happens.
So as we approach the height of hurricane season over the next few weeks, and risk of the next earthquake, tornado, or fire is ever-present, do yourself and favor and take action on your disaster recovery plan right now. It doesn’t have to be complex, and it really doesn’t have to cost a lot! But if and when the next natural disaster hits, you’ll be glad you took care of it.