I had the wonderful experience yesterday of having my computer decide to tell me who is in charge and it wasn’t me! Thanks to the wonderful folks at Apple, the problem eventually disappeared but it did cause me some major concern how I was going to access my files so that I could complete some reports I was working on. It caused me to ponder the question that we should all ask ourselves every once in a while- do you have a back up plan in case of hardware or software (and that includes people) issues?
For hardware, these days there are many options for backing up computers including external drive backups to remote backups. I use a company called Carbonite to daily back my computer up and it is very inexpensive. I also use an external drive to back up my laptop in case something happens when I am on the road. One other thing I have started to do is to have a USB stick that contains some of the more important documents that I deal with on a regular basis so that I can access them if something happens to limit my normal access. Those of you with servers will have those backups but even those fail at times.
As for the “software”, do you have a plan in place in case key people in your organization decide to leave your company? It takes time to replace those valuable individuals and your business needs to continue on. So do you have a “back up plan” in place to ensure that more than one individual has corporate knowledge of key projects or issues they might be working on for your company or organization. We don’t always have the luxury of having a week or a month to catch up on important issues as clients are expecting you to perform business as usual. Those clients only have limited understanding that you may have to catch up on their file as they have their business to attend to.
Both hardware and software backup is always needed as we do not live in a perfect world. And that goes for us personally. For instance, do you and your partner have current wills? Do you know where all your financial information is stored or kept (bank accounts, investments, etc.)? Would your partner know where to obtain all of your documents in case something happens to you? And do you have enough life insurance to carry your family through the tough times?