Cloud-Using Small Business Owners Recover from Disasters Quicker - Page 2
Virtualizing one’s computing experience means removing your day to day computing essentials off of your local machine, and connecting to a “virtualized” machine of the same or better caliber being run over the Web or an internal network. What’s important is that the server providing the virtual instance of your operating system and/or business suite is located (and backed up elsewhere). Should you lose your local machine to fire or flood, once power and Internet is restored, getting back to your data is as easy as replacing your computer and reconnecting to your still-safe data.
If your business is running a heavy-duty piece of software with special database requirements, consider investing in a cloud-computing service such as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, IBM, or Windows Azure. You’ll be able to transfer your programs, database and data to a consistently updated, backed up and far more disaster-proof locale.
Consider moving from a desktop-based computing environment to a more mobile form of data interaction. Laptops, tablets and smartphones can access a variety of business applications that allow you full access to your important information while keeping it far from your front doors. At the end of the day, you can take your local data home with you.
Even if you can’t get downtown to your business, simple document storage and note-taking utilities like Dropbox and Evernote can give ready access to receipts, project files and sales information, while online office environments such as Google Drive or Microsoft’s Office 365 can provide continued access to your email, contacts and office-based documentation. Depending on the nature of your business, it might not feel like a storm closed your doors at all. Just make sure you talk with 3rd party vendors about hosted backups of your data, and make sure you know how to properly use the interfaces securely.
The Small Business Administration has an Emergency Preparedness Guide on their website, focusing largely on testing and preparing what you already have in place. It’s a great tool, but small businesses also need to consider how to protect their data and documentation before disaster strikes.Continued on the next page