Are you ready for World Backup Day?
For World Backup Day we want to explore the importance of backing up not only your business’ data, but why B2B marketers should always have a backup plan B — and preferably also a plan C and D — at the ready.
“Don’t be an April Fool. Be prepared. Back up your files on March 31st,” the World Backup Day website admonishes for the annual day celebrating the importance of backups, which falls just ahead of April Fool’s Day.
I remember the first backup I made 37 years ago, when I decided that my heavily-modified BASIC code for the 300-baud computer bulletin board system (BBS) I operated needed to be safely duplicated, in case anything ever happened to the single copy in existence. On that day in 1984 I had to borrow a second Commodore 1541 5.25″ floppy disk drive to backup my BBS program and the data my callers left in the form of public and private text messages — the precursor to modern email.
I still vividly recall the sense of reassurance I felt having completed that first backup — my data safeguarded at least to the extent that I was able to achieve at the time. I still have those two floppies, and about a decade ago I successfully used a piece of hardware to hook up my old disk drive to my modern computer, while a utility copied the disks into a format that present day Commodore 64 emulator programs can read. Those old files then became a part of my regular backup scheme.
Let’s take a look at both smart data backup strategies and why, as B2B marketers, we should always be prepared for the unexpected — and not just when it comes to potential data loss.
Successful B2B Marketers Use Sound Backup Practices
A sound backup practice is fundamental to the success of any business, especially to today’s technology firms that operate almost entirely in the digital realm, creating mountains of potentially irreplaceable data.
Relying solely on the type of cloud-based syncing provided by Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox or countless others is scarcely better than having no backup plan whatsoever in place, as these services typically only offer file synchronization meant for convenience when hopping from one computer or device to another, while a dedicated stand-alone backup program exists solely to protect your data and provide a perfectly restored copy in the event of any number of unforeseen data emergencies.
Similarly, relying too heavily on hard drives using Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) technology can also offer a false sense of protection, as the system is not meant to be a data backup measure, but simply a data redundancy solution.
What are some of the elements of a robust data backup strategy?
Let’s examine some of the options.
Cloud, Offline, Offsite, Multiple Copies & More
In the digital realm, a smart data backup plan involves keeping multiple copies of your information in several locations and on a number of different media formats, with a goal of ensuring that even multiple failures can’t delete your priceless data for good.
Even if the backing up of your data is handled by a specialized team within your company, in today’s world that is more remote oriented than ever, many B2B marketers are working from several computers and devices — oftentimes not even located at a centralized office location — which means that we all need a backup strategy that can protect both our professional and personal files.
Important and sometimes overlooked factors of a trustworthy data backup plan are:
- It Needs To Be As Automatic As Possible
- It Needs To Incorporate Regular Restoration Testing
If backup software is installed on all of your computers, that’s not enough, as it should be set up to automatically perform backup operations on a regular basis. In the earlier days of personal computing — the nearly forgotten term we used for the novel and unusual practice of having a computer entirely for home use — backups typically couldn’t be run automatically, and were instead only done when time was available and when we happened to remember.
Today’s backup programs make it relatively easy to schedule regular backups, which can also be encrypted for an added measure of security, especially when the resulting backup archive files are stored in the cloud.
Detailing a thorough data backup strategy is beyond the scope of this article, however here are several resources to help guide those looking to set up or improve their existing backup plan on this World Backup Day:
- Wikipedia’s backup entry offers a detailed introduction to the concepts and terminology of modern data backup practices
- Reddit channels such as r/DataHoarder offers its 433,000-plus members tips and tactics for robust backup solutions
If we’ve already successfully implemented a sound data backup strategy, are there lessons we can apply to our professional and personal lives?
Stay Ahead Of The Marketing Game By Having Plans B, C, & D At The Ready
As important as data backup contingencies are, it makes sense to apply similar strategies to our professional and personal lives, to ensure that when a change of plans inevitably happens, we’ve got the situation covered with backup plans thought out ahead of time.
Unforeseen circumstances are minimized when you’ve taken the time to plan for a wide array of likely — and unlikely — scenarios, and often what sets the best B2B marketers apart is the thorough approach they’ve taken to planning for many varying situations.
As with data backups, smart planning in marketing involves finding solutions to potential roadblocks — whether it’s choosing who will fill in for you should you be on sick leave during an important meeting, or having a plan B and C in place for any number of typical business issues that arise.
The human form of the cloud’s data backup is knowing who is able to be your own backup when you can’t be there in person.
We don’t yet have automatic methods to transfer our individual knowledge from one person to another, however each of us can help others in our organizations by documenting important workflows and procedures.“Often what sets the best B2B marketers apart is the thorough approach they've taken to planning ahead for many varying situations, including having plans B, C and D at the ready.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet
Plan Ahead & Avoid Plan 9 From Outer Space Snafus
Don’t just wing it when agendas go awry, or your efforts will start to look like the low-budget special effects in the cult classic film Plan 9 From Outer Space, as savvy clients and associates can tell the difference between dealing with a professional who has a solid plan B in place and one offering only a toy flying saucer dangling from fishing line.
This World Backup Day, as you reexamine your data backup plans, also take time to think about what you can do to help share your unique knowledge with key people in your firm and industry.
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