As a veterinary practice owner or manager, you may not be sure what is a full circle data backup solution. This is an important consideration when analyzing data backup options and suppliers, so it’s worth digging a little deeper.
What does a data loss mean for your practice?
Many software partners offer only limited data backup capability so you want to be sure you’re getting what you need. Because, according to research, things don’t look good for small or medium businesses that suffer a data loss.
Boston Computing Network’s Data Loss Statistics notes that 60% of companies that lose their data shut down within six months of the disaster. Gartner Group says that 43% of companies were put out of business immediately by a major loss of computer records; another 51% permanently closed their doors within two years of a data breach. And IDC found that 40% of SMEs don’t back up their data at all; when they do, 40 to 50% of those backups are not fully recoverable.
What this research points to is that data loss happens more frequently than we’d like to think. And when it does, the impact is significant enough to mean the end of businesses that suffer from an event. Another key point is that there appears to be a small window of opportunity where there is a chance to recover data. If a business is unable to take advantage of it, the most likely outcome is they end up closing their doors.
This brings us to full circle data backup, or, as we like to call it, a ‘full round trip’ for your data. This entails four key steps:
- Data backup
- Secure storage
- Retrieval in the event of data loss
- Reinstallation back into your software
As you can see, any company that sells you data backup on its own – no matter how good this might be – is selling you short.
Automatic data backup
An automated data backup is essential, so the risks related to the ‘human factor’ are removed. The solution must back up your vital practice data securely and reliably 24/7, 365 days a year. The most effective way is through installed software that is set to automatically backup and upload your practice data.
Redundancy, data upload and storage
Your data isn’t truly protected from loss unless you back it up regularly to more than one location. You may feel safe having a robust onsite backup or having a copy stored remotely in the cloud. However, best practice is to have both a secure offsite and onsite backup. Step two of a full circle backup is the secure upload of your client, operational and financial data to your secure onsite and offsite servers.
While a robust backup strategy is an essential step in protecting your practice data, the main goal isn’t to create a copy – it’s about timely and effective retrieval. If you suffer a data loss event, you must be able to locate the backup source quickly and restore it within an acceptable recovery time objective (RTO). This is the small window of opportunity referred to earlier.
This is the final step of a full circle backup. With so many businesses switching to digital workflows these days, it’s essential to reintroduce restored data back into your practice software as quickly as possible. You can imagine, for example, how your clinic would grind to a halt if you were unable to retrieve patient or client files.