When you have all of your business information on a computer system in house, it is always important to have a backup plan. Many businesses make copies of their valuable data and store their information off-site. When we start to work in the cloud we would like to believe that all of our information is being backed up on a regular basis but that is often not the case! One very important case in point is with Microsoft, Office 365, and emails. Does your business have an Office 365 backup plan?
Why do we back up our business information? Imagine what happens when your city, your neighborhood, and your office are hit by a hurricane, tornado, extensive flooding, or a fire. What happens when there is a power outage and your server goes down or is damaged? Or, if you are hacked, what can you do when files are lost or corrupted? To protect against all of these scenarios, we should be backing up everything every day. In fact, disaster information management should be part of your business plan.
Personnel records that you should back up include employment taxes, payroll records, benefit plans, employment applications, and pension/profit sharing plans. All system backups need to include commendations, disciplinary actions, personnel records, and files, as a minimum. Information that is reported to OSHA about employee injury and illness needs to be backed up as well.
Your backup plan must include information critical to the administration of your business, sales information, marketing plans and data, project reports, and all business planning information, whatever else you have that you don’t want to lose.
Minutes of board meetings, business contracts, patent and trademark information, business licenses, insurance documents and policies, and stockholder or shareholder records need to be backed up as well.
Your financial records are critical for the day to day operation of your business. You bookkeeping transactions need to be backed up daily. Luckily, if you use QuickBooks Online, Intuit automatically backs up your information to a third-party drive.
If your bookkeeping system is in house, you should be backing up at least once a week and ideally at the end of every business day.
Records that require backup include accounts receivable and payable records, expense receipts and invoices, sales and revenue records, depreciation schedules, inventory records, financial statements, loan payment schedules, and purchase orders. And, don’t forget to backup canceled checks, electronic payment records, bank statements, and bank reconciliations.
When you have old documents that never made it into the computer age, hard copies of licenses, and other paper records, they can be scanned and be backed up off-site. This is a one-time chore and won’t require daily backups.
In fact, it is wise to avoid repeated backups of old information that will never change. You always risk the loss of data when you manipulate it and are always incurring expenses that you can avoid by saving old information like tax returns, old contracts, and like in a secure external location.
It is easy to forget that all of the computer software used by your employees also needs to be backed up. Luckily, this is a process that can be carried out when the software is installed and does not to be repeated every day. But, this backup should always be stored off-site.
Now we are getting to the original point of our discussion. All of your business is handled online and you have been trusting the folks in the cloud to do backups. As we noted, there could be problems with this approach. At Exigo Business Solutions in the Kansas City area, we partner with Microsoft and Office 365. Microsoft 365 Business is the best in its class for business productivity and has great security built in. What it does not offer is a designated backup of your Office 365 information or your emails.
This is not a reason to dump this fantastic business software but it is a good reason to find a way to do the backups you need. In order to protect our clients who use Office 365, we also partner with companies that provide backups for both Office 365 and emails. These are Datto, SkyKick, and DropSuite.
For cloud-based backup data storage that protects your Microsoft Office 365 and Gmail information, this is a good choice. Their system not only does backups but also makes the backups searchable so that you can easily retrieve just what you need and don’t need to download everything to start your search. Thus this backup solution is not only good for disaster management but for archiving old but still-necessary information. They back up Office 365 and related emails as well as Gmail.
Businesses use SkyKick for backup and retrieval of information from Office 365 Groups, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange Online. Their backups happen six times every day! Many use this service to search for archived emails and other hard-to-find data.
This system also sets up and restores mailboxes and OneDrive for Business accounts to a given point in time.
Datto is a company that offers a very wide range of services of which one is cloud-to-cloud storage. Whether your data loss is due to a natural disaster, hacking, or just a dumb mistake by someone on one of your computers, Datto’s services have you protected.
If you would like help sorting through what business and financial records should be routinely backed up and especially deciding what to do about your business information in Office 365 in the cloud, as well as emails, contact us today.