Does your small business backup its data? If not, consider this.

As a small business owner, you think that today is going to be like any other day.
You come into the office and press the switch on your main PC – only to discover that today, it doesn’t want to boot up.
Your initial reaction is a casual one, thinking that cycling the power via the On/Off button should sort it out.
Again, you find that it won’t boot. You repeat the power cycling process, to no avail.
What was starting out as a minor annoyance is now turning into a real inconvenience. You get under the desk ready to pull the power cord out of the back of the PC, and then you hear random ‘clunk’ sounds coming from inside of it.
It’s at that point when reality kicks in and you realise that the hard disk has potentially failed – and all your valuable business data is on it.
You momentarily pause and think about how to get that data back. Your harsh dose of reality becomes worse when you concede that you haven’t backed it up. Your business has ground to a halt.

Now, if you think that sounds rather fictitious or a bit far-fetched – you would be wrong.

I’ve heard of a situation just like this one, along with other cringe-worthy incidents, happening to a number of small businesses during the course of the year.
It’s almost incomprehensible that there are still some businesses out there not carrying out the basic concept of backing up their data and fail to appreciate the criticality of doing so. The reasons why some don’t (or won’t) do this can vary, but is in no way excusable, given it will ultimately be those business owners who pay the price if their key systems suffer from any type of hardware failure or other physical incident (fire, flood or theft) and have no backup from which to recover.
And that’s before we’ve even considered the risk of data loss due to cyber threats (ransomware, etc.). Enough said.
In an age where technology is advancing at such a rapid pace, if some small businesses aren’t coping with an age-old concept such as backing up their data, one cannot help but wonder how they will cope with the more complex, cutting-edge technologies – especially those capable of improving their customer’s experience of doing business with them and making their business more successful.

If you suspect (or know) that your business has an exposure in this regard, there’s a few things you’ll want to do – and quickly (and this is by no means an exhaustive list):

  1. Find out where all your critical business data is currently stored. If you’re not backing up any data presently, chances are you may not fully appreciate just what data you have or know where it resides. It could be on one system, or scattered across several – time to get your head around it.
  2. Consider your backup requirements. Think about how quickly your business would need to be back up and running again in the event of a partial or complete loss, as this may dictate the type of backup regime you’ll need to implement.
  3. Choose a solution that’s right for your needs. There’s a wide variety of backup applications and media out there to suit your business. Be sure to investigate cloud backup options also.

Remember not to panic if you find the whole process overwhelming or get stuck. Seek professional help if you need to.

The year of the machine is coming – at some stage…..

Who would’ve thought the day would come where Number 5 really is alive?

You can’t help but think that when you read through the large number of articles about how there are machines out there capable of taking over many jobs currently done by people.

From Taxi drivers to Financial Advisors to waiters, many have made predictions about the types of roles that will be replaced by machines in the future. You only need to do a quick Google search using the words “machines can do our job” to see the abundance of articles on this subject.

I’ve no doubt that machines could replace people in many jobs, and that the technology itself can provide the required level of accuracy and reliability.

However, I think the tech industry has underestimated one very crucial thing.

People power.

Essentially, I’m talking about people’s willingness to accept and deal with a machine, especially in businesses where personalised service is traditionally so crucial. If people reject this technology, it will struggle to get off the ground in certain areas.


It comes down to this – people just like dealing with people.

It’s for this reason that many of us attend networking events – because we like dealing with people.
We like creating business relationships with people.
If businesses started sending machines or robots to such events, how much longer do you think networking events would continue to exist?

It’s for this same reason many of us deal with certain businesses – because (most of the time) we like the people who work there and the service they provide.
If your favourite restaurant, despite their good quality food, replaced their Manager, Maître d or waiters (who you’ve come to know over a long period of time) with machines – would you continue to go there?

Sure, a machine can provide personalised service too and be programmed to remember this, or do that, even self-learn. But it’s just not the same as dealing with a real person.

I think there’s still some way to go in terms of society’s acceptance of this technology before we’ll start seeing machines and robots being placed in jobs currently held by people. I’m not saying it will never happen, but I think we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves about the predicted timeframes in which it will happen as the implications this will have on all of us – people and governments, businesses and customers – are far too great.

But when it does happen and the machines eventually do take over, should future networking events also turn into a mechanised affair, I’ll make sure I send my PR Machine along.