Cloud backup should be a critical part of your business continuity plan. This is because when a disaster affects your business, your cloud backup service can be the main method of recovering of all of your services and historic data.
A lot of our customers only use cloud backup to back up their financial database. This is great, but what about all of your other data?
1. Formal operational data
A business has formal, structured data that includes data on servers used for financial management as well as other system requirements, such as CRM data, manufacturing data and other operational databases. All of this need to be securely backed up to a safe cloud backup service. Formal operational data of this kind is crucial to ensuring continuity of daily operations in a business.
2. Human resources and payroll data
Another critical area is that of human resources and payroll. All of the information on salary structures, leave taken and all HR related issues reside in these databases. HR data is crucial to the ongoing function of a company in that your employees expect to be paid on a weekly or monthly basis. If an incident occurs that prevents this due to a loss of data, there will not be a lot of sympathy from employees. HR data is highly confidential and is typically hosted on a separate server or on the HR manager's machine - this must be a part of any cloud backup service.
3. Informal data
Informal data is data that is crucial to the running of a business but is typically stored on the laptops or computers of employees. This data will consist of Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, PDF documents and can and will contain critical data. A cloud backup service will in all likelihood offer a special deal for a number of machines at one location and these should also be set up to enable cloud backup.
4. Email and telephonic data
The other areas that are critical to ensuring proper business continuity are your emails and your telephonic systems. All of these will need to be recovered should there be a complete failure of your systems for whatever reason.
Microsoft Exchange or similar systems used to store all company emails are often not backed up at all. All your customer and supplier communications and a veritable mine of information about your company reside within these systems. These too need to be backed up to a cloud backup service.
5. Contractual and printed documents
A further area is your contractual and other printed documents. These are usually stored in a cupboard or filing cabinet, but they should ideally also be scanned and stored off-site using a cloud backup service.
In conclusion, most South African small and medium enterprises have a very sketchy idea of what constitutes business continuity planning and safe and secure backup services. Utilising cloud backup services from a reputable cloud backup services company is the first step to ensuring that you can recover from a business disruption or disaster. We will continue in future posts to discuss full and active business continuity planning for small and medium companies in South Africa.