computer with dataNearly a quarter of small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) say that their IT systems go offline over the course of a year. [1] That IT downtime leads to significant losses for many businesses. More than a third of SMBs say that they have lost customers because of IT downtime. About 17 percent of businesses say that they have lost revenue.

Somewhat alarmingly, nearly a fifth of SMBs do not believe that they have adequate processes in place to prevent unexpected downtime and mitigate losses.

Instead of suffering from long IT disruptions, SMBs can begin serving their customers more quickly by taking a few steps toward better data management, data backup and IT security.

Use the Cloud for Off-Premises Data Backups

Data loss and IT disruption don’t always stem from technical challenges. On-premises data management has some advantages, but it also makes your data vulnerable to physical disruptions. A storm, leaking water pipe or theft could make it impossible for you to access the data you need to run your business.

Storing data in the cloud protects it from these and other physical threats, which helps explain why some researchers expect 90 percent of enterprises around the world to use multi-could solutions by 2022 [2]. Companies also want to adopt multi-cloud infrastructures to improve their business agility and remote work capabilities. When you keep more of your data and applications in the cloud, employees and contractors all over the world can access them at any time.

Since most cloud service providers have servers in multiple locations, it’s unlikely that a physical threat – such as severe weather or an earthquake – will make it impossible for you to retrieve essential data.

Schedule and Automate Regular Data Backups

Your business should have a policy in place that prescribes how often you backup your data. The typical SMB performs a full backup once per 24 hours, but they schedule incremental backups every six hours [3]. Your data backup schedule will depend on the type of business you manage and how much data you produce.

A financial institution that generates a lot of critical data might want to create a data management plan that backs up transaction logs hourly. A small marketing company that doesn’t create nearly as much data, however, might not need to worry about incremental backups. Saving all data in the system once per day might meet that company’s needs well enough to prevent business disruptions or significant losses.

Improve Your IT Security for Safer Data Management Processes

Surprisingly, 66 percent of SMBs say that they do not believe they’re vulnerable to cyberattacks [4]. Many think that they aren’t large enough to become targets. Others do not understand the devastating effects of lax IT security, so they simply do not worry about criminal activities.

In reality, about half of cyberattacks target SMBs. While your business might not have nearly as much data as a larger corporation, it also doesn’t have a huge security team like most international companies. Hackers see your business as “low-hanging fruit” that they can infiltrate without much effort. If you don’t have a data management and IT security plan in place, you prove them right.

Outsource Your IT Needs to a Reliable Expert With Affordable Prices

Hiring an IT team will likely improve your business’s cybersecurity. Unfortunately, the cost of paying full-time IT professionals often falls outside of what SMBs can afford. Outsourcing your IT needs to a managed services provider can:

  • Improve your security.

  • Help you identify the data management procedures that work well for your business.

  • Give you a disaster recovery and business continuity plan that makes it much easier for you to serve your customers when a data breach affects you.

Artemis IT offers Managed IT, Managed Security and Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity services at affordable rates for SMBs.

Learn how Artemis IT can help your organization today.