Digital data has become one of the most valuable assets owned by companies and organisations across the world. From financial records to customer spending patterns; confidential employee files to competitor research, it can be catastrophic for a company if it loses or corrupts its digital data, or if it falls into the wrong hands.
Happily, public awareness of the importance of storing digital data safely, along with the risks and repercussions of data security breaches and disasters, is growing rapidly. The whole arena of cybersecurity is stepping onto the limelight with many businesses employing dedicated departments or working with specialist agencies to expressly protect and back up digital files and information. Yet, it is not just the risk of theft or loss that makes backing up data so important. Have you ever thought about the following reasons and scenarios?
We all know of someone whose computer crashed at an inopportune time, or whose day was ruined when they couldn’t lay their hands on some crucial information when they needed it most. Even the most secure data storage facilities – both physical and digital – can fall prey to administrative glitches, natural disasters, sabotage or simple human error. Being able to access a duplicate, backed-up version can save the day in all kinds of situations, as well as provide individuals and companies with a ‘Plan B’ for when things go wrong with the primary set of data. Being able to go back to older version of files can also be of great help when making revisions or trying to establish a timeline of who made what changes to a file and when.
The ability to return to older documents and files can also help your business to spot any patterns in how things are done, either to replicate processes for new projects, or to spot where things might have gone wrong if anything untoward crops up further down the line. Having a full set of backed-up data can reveal different employees’ approaches to their work and record-keeping too, so you can either help other people to learn from their colleagues’ best practice, or know what to focus if you need to help the person in question make changes to how they work.
Of course, one of the main reasons why assiduous record-keeping and data back-ups are so important is so that you can satisfy the taxman (or woman…) when they cone to call. Being able to show an uninterrupted, comprehensive record of all your relevant financial, HR and tax-related data is vital for both adherence to tax law and for your own peace of mind. Couple that with professional, competent book-keeping and your entire tax return process will suddenly become a lot less worrisome.
History in the making
Everything that we know about past generations and how they lived and went about their business has come from the historical recounts and evidence left behind by those who came before us. Museums are endlessly fascinating with their displays of artefacts, images and historical documents. As more and more of our data goes digital and cloud-based storage becomes increasingly versatile, so the historians of the future will benefit hugely from being able to access electronic data back-ups to analyse and share with the generations to come. Digital records will give a clear picture of how companies functioned and traded and what their commercial priorities were during the first half of the 21st Century. Fascinating!
Beat the cybercriminals
Returning to the present, a very real threat that exists right now, and looks set to spread further and further in the future is cybercrime. Stealing, corrupting or taking data hostage is happening repeatedly, every day and in all corners of the world. We are learning new ways all the time to ward off and. Mitigate against such attacks; however, a key weapon in all of this is keeping backed-up files up to date and easily accessible in case of a data breach. The more companies can embrace the benefits of cloud-based data storage, the less powerful cybercriminals will eventually become.
Peace of mind
Above all, having access to a secure, reliable cloud-based back-up of your important data will provide you with peace of mind and the assurance that you can retrieve your key files whenever you need to. This is especially useful if you lose your main, data, are targeted by a cybercriminal, need to look back on your records for tax or administrative purposes or if your data becomes too corrupt to read and you need to refer back to a clean version. Keeping back-ups of your digital data like this will also encourage you to keep on top of your company’s admin and so reduce the risk of logistical issues impeding on your performance and bottom line.