We’re all familiar with the saying ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’. Understandably, we often spend so much time addressing client, patient, or staff needs that we neglect the processes that keep our practice humming along – until they grind to a halt.
But this year is a great time to tackle an often ignored yet critical business practice: data backups.
Data safety is frequently neglected because it is to easy to forget that it is vulnerable and needs our attention. However, the risks of neglecting practice data is literally business-shattering; 60% of companies that experience data loss close within six months.
Therefore, what steps should you consider for a successful data security and backup strategy?
Identify who in your practice is best placed to own and direct your data backup plan. It could be you, or another senior – or specialist – member of your team. Bear in mind that this person doesn’t have to be a data expert themselves; instead this person will work with your external data backup provider. Also, they should have the authority to ensure your data strategy is implemented internally.
Identify where to store your data backup
Most small and medium businesses have an on-site backup but having this as the only option is extremely risky. All it takes is a careless employee, theft, cybercrime or natural disaster and you could lose all your practice data. Consider a hybrid model instead, where an on-site backup is combined with an offsite data backup in the cloud to reduce the risk. This way, if one backup fails, you have another in place.
Decide how often to back up your data
Next, it’s important to think about the risks your practice faces, which will help you identify how often you need to back up your data. For example, if your practice is located in a storm- or flood-prone area it pays to run a backup more frequently. Similarly, if you have a large clientele with high turnover you will generate new data more frequently than a small-town practice with a static population. This means you should run your backups more frequently; potentially daily, rather than weekly.
Set a budget
It’s important to budget adequately for an appropriate data backup plan for your veterinary practice. Consider the potential cost that a data loss would mean for your business, and compare that against the projected cost of a suitable backup system. Then make sure the budget is allocated and spent wisely. A data backup plan is not a theoretical fund in case a data loss or breach occurs – it’s the practical implementation of software and processes to ensure one doesn’t occur in the first place.
Backing up your practice data doesn’t need to be complicated. Having a designated employee responsible for ensuring your data is secure and automating the process ensures your business is protected in the event of a loss.
Contact us to learn more about data backup solutions from Covetrus.