More than Half of Small Businesses are a Click Away from Disaster

The vast majority of small businesses may have binned their paper mountain by going digital, but more than half are failing to back-up their electronic files – and risking a complete loss of data.

Unicom, which specialises in telecoms for the small business sector, asked customers ringing in to its call centre whether their business backed-up vital computer and business data.

Unicom, based in Manchester, has regional headquarters in Birmingham, Ipswich, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent.

“It’s quite hair-raising to think that 55% of the businesses we surveyed said that they did not back-up their data in any way: all it takes is a power surge, a hardware failure, a software glitch, a break-in or even a wrong click of a mouse and every single piece of information relating to accounts, tax, personnel, sales, customers and stock can be lost for good,” said Chris Earle, Operations Director, Unicom.

“In most cases that could be the accumulation of years’ of data – imagine having to manually recover or replace it.”

Of the 799 businesses questioned, 55% said that they didn’t have any back-up at all. The remaining 45% used various methods for their back-up – some more safe than others.

Five per cent back-up to tape storage, while 6% back-up online, 14% back-up to a different PC and 20% to ‘another method’.

“It’s really quite shocking that there are still many small businesses that don’t back up their data. Until you lose your data, you don’t realise how valuable it is to your organisation,” added Chris Earle.

“At worst, data loss can put you out of business, and at the very least, it will cause hours if not weeks and months of costly disruption in service to customers.

“Since we conducted the survey, we have decided that we are going to create an online back up service which will available to our customers at discounted rates. We hope to launch our new product in the New Year.”