Why creating and following a Backup Schedule is necessary
How to stay productive and in business.
Does your organisation have a backup schedule? If not, then it is time to implement one as soon as possible. Why is it so important?
It is not so much a case of ‘if’ but rather ’when’ disaster will strike your business. It may happen tomorrow, it may happen in 40 years, but at some point, it will happen.
If you take the viewpoint that your company will at some point experience a disaster of some sort that will slow or halt production, then you are being smart. The interesting thing is that when you take steps to mitigate disasters, when they do rear their ugly head they often appear more as an annoyance than a disaster.
One of the most important parts of preparing for disasters, if not the most important, is creating regular backups of your data and records that follow a backup schedule.
Creating a backup schedule is not necessarily a huge exercise. It is, however an exercise that will be well worth the time and one you will wish you had done should things go wrong.
Before you can create a backup schedule, you need to have carried out a few other steps for it to be most effective.
- Organise your records and data.
As you carry out the day-to-day activities of your business, you will be collecting a wide range of records and creating hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of data and documents. If you do not sort your records or logically file your data, you are going to have a hard time creating an efficient backup schedule, as you do not know what is important to backup and what is not.
Knowing what each record and document is and how it is used and by whom will help you determine in what order to back it up.
- Know the location of your records and data
If you do not know where your records and documents are stored and where your data is secured, you will have a hard time creating a backup schedule.
- Types of backups
Once your records and data is organised and you know where it is all located you will be able to determine what types of backups to use. Your records and documents will be both paper and electronic, which means they will be stored and backup up differently.
If you have the office space, you might be able to create an archive room where you can keep copies of all your records and documents. Space allowing you may have an additional server room to backup all your electronic files.
If you do not have the space for either of these rooms and you are keeping your backups with your original and working files then you don’t actually have a backup as a disaster will no doubt affect both sets of records and data.
A smarter and more cost effective means of backup is offsite backup. Offsite backups cater to both paper and electronic documents and not only do they save you money in terms of your office space, filing cabinets and server equipment but they offer a level of disaster prevention that onsite backups simply cannot.
Creating your backup schedule
A backup schedule is simply a means to control the process of backing up your records and data. Your backup schedule should contain the following:
- Dates and times of each backup
- The type of backup – paper or electronic
- The location of each backup – onsite or offsite
- The number of earlier backups to be kept before they are replaced by newer backups
- The details of those responsible for maintaining and carrying out each backup (These details should include names, contact details, locations and include any outside service providers.)
- Additionally your backup schedule should detail the procedure to follow for the retrieval of paper records as well as the procedure for restoring electronic backups
Once you have a backup schedule you need to be sure to inform everyone and explain the importance of keeping regular backups. Reminding staff of the importance of backups is also an important step to maintaining compliance. Additionally you should not forget to train your staff in the procedures that need to be followed.
For more information on paper and electronic backup solutions, talk to Iron Mountain today.
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