Three smart things to know about backup and recovery

| November 22, 2013

The importance of backup and recovery of data should not be underestimated. Netgear’s Matt Pahnke says its time to reduce your risk and increase your savvy with a ‘stitch in time’ approach.

With close to 90 per cent of the world’s data created in the last 24 months, we are all aware that data has fast become a vital element of most Australian businesses.

Midsize businesses across all sectors are discovering innovative ways to drive value from their data, often leading to new growth opportunities. However, this reliance on data can also create risk, and many businesses would find it difficult to operate without access to important company information.

When it comes to backup and recovery, it really is a case of ‘a stitch in time saves nine,’ as establishing a comprehensive plan doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time or money to create. It does however have the potential to save untold amounts of money and valuable man-hours down the road. Here is why I think backup and recovery is not getting the attention it deserves from Australian business owners and managers.

Data that is central to your day-to-day operations can vanish in the blink of an eye

Whether it’s due to data theft, natural disaster, cyber-attack, or something as simple as employee complacency, data loss is extremely common and without proper measures in place, it can be irreversible. Very few businesses can afford the cost and damage of this kind of data ‘mishap’.

Employees will always be prone to human error and may not be aware of the pitfalls that come with scattering their data in a range of unsecure places. Whether it be on the desktop, a USB, in their email or on a cloud-based file sharing website, the fact is, this approach leaves your business vulnerable, and the resulting data loss can be difficult and costly to manage.

Consumer and employee behavior has changed, and data access must be faster than ever

Increased adoption of mobile devices amongst employees, along with the growing use of new data-rich applications and media streaming in the workplace, is already resulting in data creation skyrocketing, and this trend is only set to increase. Furthermore, with 80 per cent of Australians expected to be using smartphones by 2018, meeting the needs of mobile consumers and employees is becoming one of the key challenges businesses must contend with.

The digital age has caused customers to demand greater speed and efficiency from business, as they grow more accustomed to an automated experience. There are also the growing requirements from sales teams who need to view customer data, ensure the timely generation of pricing and purchase orders and have access to support, all in real-time. These necessities further cement the point that delays or unplanned downtime due to data loss will not be tolerated.  Additionally, new data management technologies mean that more valuable consumer insights can be gained from past data than ever before, and losing this data could put your business at a disadvantage against competitors who are actively cultivating their historic customer information.

Data is growing so fast that old backup methods are no longer effective

In my view, the current data explosion we are experiencing means that now is the time for businesses to evolve their IT strategies to further safeguard success in the future. Reliable data protection includes multiple layers of redundancy, however in my experience, too many midsize businesses deploy only one or two layers, leaving them at risk. In the past, backup could only be completed during a certain window, proving to be very inefficient Furthermore, if there was too much data on the network and the system was slow, the day could start without a full backup being completed, leaving company information unprotected.

I’ve spoken to many business leaders who are apprehensive about investing in backup and recovery, believing it will require a huge budget. The truth is, this is not the case. It is possible for midsize businesses to find advanced primary storage solutions that incorporate enterprise level components including unlimited snapshots, de-depulication and cloud-based replication, without the cost or the complexity of traditional big business offerings. Opt to go with a ‘Smart IT’, not a ‘Big IT’ approach to better position yourself in a competitive landscape. Be sure to look for solutions that give your organisation the most bang for your buck in not only backup and recovery, but also performance, ongoing data management, and scalability.

Now more than ever, successful data management is set to play a crucial role in the advancement of Australian midsized businesses.

Matt Pahnke is Senior Marketing Manager for Storage at NETGEAR. In his current role he helps customers and partners understand how ReadyNAS and ReadyDATA improve the way valuable data is stored and managed, both at home and in the workplace. Prior to joining NETGEAR, Matt held product marketing, global campaign strategy and business development roles with companies such as Symantec and VERITAS Software. Matt holds a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from the Marriott School of Business.