What would you do if, you could no longer access the files you need to do your job?
What would you do if, the power went out and you have work to get done?
What would you do if, your computer crashed and you had no back-up?
Well, I was reminded of all these questions this week when I heard from a colleague whose computer had crashed and she was unable to work on many of the tasks that she had in progress, because all the needed information and software tools were located on that computer.
Then, I received a call from a client that her access to her favorite online tool was “gone” and she could not access any of the information that she needed for her day. This was going to be a HUGE disaster. Imagine too, how these individuals felt before they knew if they would get their data recovered.
Fortunately, both of these situations were able to be resolved, but imagine for a moment if their data were truly lost, and no recovery of the data was possible?
This is why Plan B is so important. Implementing multiple layers of backup will make any of the above events less likely to have a devastating effect on your productivity, and your business. One of the first questions I ask clients is if they have back up for their digital information. Especially if we are going to be working with their digital information, we need to be sure that the data is safe and backed up. Computers do crash, data files do get corrupted, and once that happens, it may be too late. It may be very costly and time consuming to recover. Simply having a “Cloud” Account, does not mean that there are items being stored there. Be sure you know what is being saved to any of your cloud accounts and how you can add, delete, or change the items that are stored there. I have had client who thought that things were being stored to the cloud, only to find out there was nothing in the account.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting with the executives of EverPresent™ of Newton, MA a company that specializes ng your photos and videos, so you can them across generations, and they shared their multifaceted approach to saving pictures, videos, and home movies from a wide variety of formats. They use multiple types of storage: DVD, CD, thumb drive, external hard drive and cloud based options. They educate their clients about the storage media and their limitations, and they assist clients to choose options that will indeed last for generations to come. By using many different tools, they have given the best service possible, and one that includes “Plan B”.
Clients have told me they worry about storing data in the cloud. Rights of ownership and security are some of the reasons for their reluctance. This is really a personal decision. If you do not feel comfortable with cloud storage options, you still need to have a Plan B, so what options do you have? Do you think an external hard drive will suffice? What would happen if you had a fire, a flood, a tornado or some other natural disaster? All your information will be destroyed, despite your making a “backup copy”, if the copy is stored in the same location as the main copy. So, what are the alternatives? Could you have an external drive stored somewhere off site in a secure facility? Could you store your information in a fireproof safe in your home (this still limits the kind of events you are protecting yourself from)? The time to consider what you will do, is before there is a problem.
Once you decide on your Plan B, make it part of your schedule. Do you have back up set to run in the background, or do you perform these tasks manually on a daily or weekly basis? Once you have answered these questions and implemented your Plan B protocol, you are much less likely to suffer a loss of productivity when the unforeseen happens. My Realtor friends like to say location, location, location; for optimal productivity, I like to say, back-up, back-up, back-up!