I’m sitting on the beach today. But last week I was mopping up water.
Yep, my office flooded last week. A hot-water heater burst and rain fell from the ceiling for hours. By the time we got the water off, $10,000 of damage had been done.
It started me thinking about how vulnerable we all are because we rely on computers and electronic files — none of which mix well with water.
If your office flooded like mine did last week (or burned down, or was knocked over by a tornado), what would happen to all your company data? Would your server die and take 5 years of QuickBooks accounting with it? What about your CRM system and all your customer records? And then there are legal contracts, customer correspondence, emails, and spreadsheets you’ve made.
Could your company survive even a small disaster?
The water that flooded my office ruined a couple of laptops, a few phones and my favorite desk chair. But my company went right on humming — no data was lost and we did not skip even a minute of productivity. And do you know why? Look carefully at the picture. See that empty wire shelf in the back? That’s where our servers USED to be. Back in 2002, when having servers was cool and doing tape backups was leading edge.
So where are our servers now? As we say down south, “Ain’t Got None”. And not having servers is the best thing that ever happened to me. No servers, no data, no worries. I am not nearly qualified to manage those kinds of vital IT assets. (Are you?)
Today’s options for data storage and even applications are so much better, so much more robust … and more and more, they are low cost or even free.
Here’s ONE SIMPLE THING you can do to protect your company from theft, fire, rain, earthquakes, tornadoes and just plain stupidity (haven’t you ever deleted an important file?)… Check out the new Google Drive.
Google Drive is a giant hard drive on the Internet (uh, that’s a “cloud drive” if you’re really hip). It is almost impenetrably secure (way more secure than your PC), your data is backed up at all times, and it can keep backup copies of your files forever. Yes, actually…forever.
Need more reasons? You can share your files with staff, customers or vendors any time with the click of a button. Do you have an Adobe Illustrator file you want to show to a client? They don’t even need a copy of Illustrator to see it! They can look right at the original file in a browser window, thanks to Google’s amazing “viewers” that are built in.
Looking for options? Dropbox is a pretty good free alternative. And of course virtual servers are a great choice if you have a little more budget and like the familiar Microsoft environments. Here’s a great blog that compares the free cloud drive services.
OK, I’m going back to my beach chair. Hope you will find a way to protect your company’s most valuable asset — the data that keeps it all running.
*Oh yea, in the title above, “DRP” stands for Disaster Recovery Planning! Or in my case, “Data Redundancy Planning!”. Either way, the real disaster would be not doing it.
Dedicated to your (Disaster Proof) profits. David
PS: The water in the office dried, all my data (on my Google Drive) was safe and sound, and insurance paid for the cleanup. Now THAT’s the way to run a low-risk business…and enjoy a week at the beach!