Safeguarding Success: The Critical Role of Data Backup for Small and Medium-sized Businesses

If you don’t routinely back up your data, you’re not alone. Trend Micro estimates that 62% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t regularly back up their data, and a study by the Diffusion Group found that 40% don’t back up at all. There’s nothing to gain from poor data management- either nothing happens or disaster strikes. When data is lost, your company loses money, productivity, employee morale, and your customers’ trust- and it all could have easily been avoided. In business, time and money go hand in hand, and they are by far the biggest costs when a company loses data. The most common type of data loss, according to a study by Amsys, takes an average of 6 hours and $170 to pay an employee to fix it. This is assuming in-house IT help is available, if not, hiring outside experts could cost 2-3 times more. In a best-case scenario, only one employee’s data is affected, and only a few hours of productivity are lost. At the other end of the cost spectrum, company-wide data or custom computer coding is lost- which could take weeks and thousands of dollars to restore. Meanwhile, productivity stalls while data is recreated and devices restored. Also, potential income is lost from missed business opportunities. The worst-case scenario: the SMB loses their business. Researchers McGladrey and Pullen estimate that 43% of businesses who lose electronically-held data never reopen. “Beyond just the financial impact of data loss, most business owners don’t realize how data loss can affect other aspects of their business, including their employees”, says Carbonite co-founder and CEO David Friend, in reference to their 2014 Report on the State of Data Backup for SMBs. In this survey of 500 IT professionals, Carbonite found that after a company experienced data loss, employees’ work-life balance was negatively affected, office morale declined, IT departments became micro-managed, and employees were fired, laid-off, or even quit. If losing money, productivity, and employee morale weren’t enough, the company’s reputation is also at risk. Losing client information can also mean losing their trust. Customers will question a company’s competence if they have to provide personal information for a second or third time, and many will simply go elsewhere. Customers put their trust in a company to provide a satisfactory product or service, and to protect their personal and financial information. If that trust is lost, their business is lost along with it. Luckily, it’s easy to prevent losing data and the money, time, employee morale, and trust that goes with it. No matter the budget or tech-savviness, whether via hard drive or the cloud, there’s a backup option to suit any need. Automation is even available so upkeep doesn’t have to become a burden. With all of the options available, backing up your data is a no-brainer.