Eight reasons to increase backup spending when the economy slows
by Bud Stoddard, President and CEO, AmeriVault Corp.
To say that we have seen a significant recession in the economy in the last twelve months would be a hyperbole at its best. As executives and business and technology professionals, it is up to each of us to go through the necessary adjustment and reassessment of the budget every time the economic conditions and the stock market change in a southern direction.
There are obvious areas to which we turn first with the scalpel in hand, such as personnel, marketing, accounting, human resources, legal, perhaps even customer service and information technology (IT). It often seems like a logical choice because most of us have spent so much money on technology in recent years. Certainly, with IT investments that have increased by more than 15-20% in most companies in the recent past, this is an area that could work with a fiscal version of the Slim-Fast Program, at least until we leave of this economy upset. It's okay to buy less sophisticated laptops without all the conveniences, (I'm writing about my less elegant now on a Delta flight to Scottsdale, Arizona) to defer the web initiative or extend additional hiring for a few months, but I beg you, for the health and the future welfare of your company, accelerate or at least save your backup costs.
Let me give you my eight best reasons why you should increase your support budget during these slow economic times. Hopefully, if I succeed, some of you will absorb and advocate within your company, spending more instead of less in backing up your company's mission critical data. But first, the central premise. Electronic information or data is one of the most critical assets in your business and the loss of that data is an irreplaceable period. In fact, according to the Disaster Recovery Journal, 43% of all companies will close their operations within the year following a disaster. Could you or someone from your management team or staff, after a loss of data or a disaster tell you by heart:
§ What are your outstanding accounts receivable and who owes your company what?
§ Who are all your customers and suppliers?
§ What is in the inventory?
§ What the hell is in that Oracle or SQL database for which you spent millions?
You can argue that we have a special data processing annex in our insurance plan that covers data loss and destruction. That's fine, but getting a check will not replace the data you need for your business to thrive or at least survive. You can replace desktops, computers, supplies, inventory and even people, but the data is irreplaceable and your loss could leave you out of business. The only viable insurance program for data is to have a fail-safe backup and recovery plan.
So, going back to those eight reasons to accelerate your backup spending during slow economic times:
1. During difficult economic times, it is common to reduce staff and have to do more with less. Most of the time, the backup will be what you don't do because Joe is busy with another project and doesn't have time or forget because he has too much on his plate.
2. That long-term employee who had to let go after 12 years is upset and erases some backup tapes on his last day at the office as a small gesture that you hurt me, I will hurt you. Make no mistake, this happens all the time!
3. It gets rid of the expensive courier service that carried your backup tapes off-site to save money and makes Phil take the tape home. But did you know that Phil has been secretly planning to start a company to compete with you and thanks to you, he knows he has everything he needs to do that?
4. The purchase of new tape and tape drives differs and the equipment fails, resulting in incomplete backups, so, in case of interruption or loss of data, you do not have a backup to recover it.
5. To save on the $ 75 fee per tape, your system administrator purchases fewer tapes. Instead, they only recover the file tapes before the end of the retention period and reuse them, so now their backups only go back one day. How often does data loss only go back one day? Not often.
6. Certainly, it is not uncommon for morale to suffer when you tighten your belt and employees tend to neglect and do not do things according to the book. The margin of error in relation to the backup is huge, so a small error and your data could disappear.
7. The recovery tests that I used to do twice a year have been lost because there is not enough time or labor to do it with a reduced staff.
8. Often, when IT resources are limited, IT staff becomes a firefighter instead of preventing fires and that can cause it to burn.
Fortunately, there are very few things that can bring a company to its knees in less than 24 hours. But the loss or destruction of data is undoubtedly one of them. Data is your most important strategic asset, regardless of the company or industry you are in. Whether your company is three years old or 103 years old, many talented people, including you, have worked hard to build a first-class company. Do not put the entire company at risk because the business is slow and the backup budget was reduced, reassess your backup strategy and increase spending as needed.