The last time I entered the term “reasons to backup” into Google there were more than 80,000,000 results. All of the relevant results will fall into one or more of the following four areas:
1. Equipment Failure
An equipment failure is when there is a fault with your PC or server and it stops operating. While computers are reliable they do sometimes fail.
2. Software Error or Corruption
Software error and corruptions may be caused by power outages or other related power problems, by improper shutdown. Virus and malware infections can also cause significant software failures.
3. Action by People
While most users don’t want to admit it, one of the most common reasons for data loss is user error. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes those mistakes end in data loss. Most people have at some point accidentally deleted something to realise that an important file is now gone. This experience can be frustrating and can cause even bigger issues when the file(s) deleted are important system files which can lead to more issues. The computer can also be stolen or damaged by someone.
4. Environment Changes
Building fire and flood are environment changes that will have a dramatic effect, other changes such as air conditioning failure adjacent equipment overheating and bursting into flame may effect operation.
The objective is to protect against the risks every business faces at an acceptable cost to the business. In some cases this is a regulated requirement but mostly people have to decide what they are prepared to pay against the risk of failure and the consequent impact on the business. In the overall scheme these costs will be small but not insignificant.
The key points to consider are:
1. Keep the process simple
2. Have your information where it is needed
3. Automate wherever possible
4. Monitor and check the process is working
5. Have a plan, know what to do
6. Demonstrate and practice to prove the process
7. Periodically review what can go wrong and how you will react