The Totalled Piano
When I was in college, I worked as a music instructor at a local music store. When I was interviewing for the position, the store manager’s mind seemed to be elsewhere. After asking me a few interview questions numerous times, he apologized. “I’m sorry — I can’t concentrate. One of our warehouse workers just rolled a Steinway grand piano (average cost: between $60,000-$100,000) off of a loading dock. It completely flipped over. It can’t be salvaged. I’m almost to the point of needing to reschedule your job interview because this is all I can think about today.”
While insurance hopefully covered the cost of the destroyed piano (I’m not sure, he didn’t seem to want to talk about the incident), many of us that work in data rather than physical goods fail to make the connection between data loss and a $100,000 grand piano taking a tumble off of a 4-foot loading dock. The time and materials that went into building a deluxe piano are no different than the time, effort, and money that go into company data, making the need for data backup as essential as insurance would have been for that piano.
Your Potentially Totalled Data
According to The Cost of Lost Data by David M. Smith, an average of 6% of PCs will experience an instance of data loss every year. According to the same study, 31% of computer users have lost all of their data due to incidents beyond their control. Even more startling is that 60% of companies that experience a complete loss of data will shut down within 6 months of the contributing incident. According to the Strategic Research Institute, companies that are not able to resume operations within 10 days of a drastic incidence of data loss are not likely to survive.
Not "If" But "When"
Unfortunately for many businesses, there tends to be an “It probably won’t happen to me” attitude in regards to data loss. While wishful thinking may simply help businesses sleep better at night, data loss tends to be less of a factor of “if it happens” when it should be treated with a “when it happens” attitude.