Data backup: You’re doing it wrong

By Michael
April 19, 2012

According to Cibecs, the leading cause of data backup failure has nothing to do with bandwidth overages, old technology or security issues, but rather because users are doing it wrong.

That’s right. Your data management provider goes to all that trouble of setting your backup point, syncing all your folders, managing your multitude of users with various PCs and laptops, giving you space to protect all your data like a basket of cute little puppies, and you leave them out in the rain because you forgot how the back gate works again. This all happens despite the fact that they wrote you explicit directions that last time you did the same thing.

Your IT department is probably shaking their heads even as they pray you don’t suffer a catastrophic disaster because then you’d be totally in the dark. In fact, the National Archives & Records administration found that companies with data management failures for 10 days or less had a 50 percent chance of filing for bankruptcy. If your data management is handled by women, you’re immediately 33 percent more likely to not have data backup at all. It’s not all women’s fault, though; half of all users only think to back up their computer more than once a year, which isn’t much better than never doing it at all, seeing as the average desktop doesn’t make it to its third birthday.

Regardless, before you start banging your head against the bankruptcy wall, you’ve got some options and hopefully some good tape management on your side. Most of the standard operating procedures involve manually writing data to a removable hard drive or some sort of portable USB flash drive, but there’s no guarantee the same employee who can’t remember how to do a backup in the first place is going to remember where they left their thumb drive.

You could also do a backup of your entire network, and that’s usually something best left to a media management company. That way you know your entire data image has been copied and stored somewhere safe where it can be managed and maintained effectively. Hopefully as time goes by you can make headway with your employees’ education on the importance of data and record keeping, but media management through a viable outside source might be a good place to start.


  1. From what you’re saying, it seems like a good idea not only to have an in-house backup plan in action, but offsite backup to compound the security important company-based data should receive. Helpful read.

    • Absolutely. Offsite backup is an important part of your backup strategy. It can be handled in many different ways: cloud, disk, tape. It all depends on the companies preferences and needs.