The portable computer was the secret business weapon of yesterday, and is today’s essential business tool. The processing power, portability, storage, and connectivity available with laptops, tablets and even smartphones can create a seamless extension of the office.
Truly, the workforce of today is mobile and fully-enabled. Business owners, working in conjunction with their accounting advisors and business consultants, are able to access all the information and analytical capability they need to make informed business decisions at any time, capture and collect important information, and keep productivity at the highest levels no matter where they are.
Mobility doesn’t come without risk, however. Some studies estimate that as much as 80% of the business data that a company has (like customer files, contracts, financial data, product specifications) is stored on portable computing devices. While these files may be recoverable from backups in the case of loss or damage, there is an even larger potential cost in terms of exposure of confidential or proprietary – or personal and private – information.
Loss or theft can create big business and legal problems, too. Customer or client privacy may be compromised, sensitive information may be exposed, and confidential plans may be made public if a business doesn’t take steps to secure mobile data. Software and network attacks are also prevalent, with a variety of exploits designed to take advantage of any vulnerability present.
There’s an old saying we IT folks have that there are only two types of businesses: those who have lost their data, and those who will. Imagine the potential chaos and risk exposure, not to mention the expense, of losing your valuable business data, or having it exposed to unauthorized users.
While computing mobility delivers a host of advantages to the business and the user, care must be taken to ensure security, privacy, and confidentiality of business information. Cloud computing solutions and managed IT services will help you provide the mobile capability your business needs, but with the additional protection, additional security, and ongoing management that the value of the data demands. Increased exposure to liability is a reality for any mobile business, and the risk is only multiplied by the number of systems a company has in the field. The smart business reduces risk by deploying secure yet versatile platforms for their workers that allow data to be stored and protected in centralized environments, rather than on the individual computing devices. Via the cloud, businesses of all kinds are reaping the benefits of new and innovative service delivery models and enhanced security solutions, achieving the freedom and functionality (and data security) the mobile workforce demands.
Here are a few data loss statistics for your reading pleasure…
(stats drawn from summary on BostonComputing.net. They may be a bit dated, but the numbers have only increased since then.) http://www.bostoncomputing.net/consultation/databackup/statistics/
The following statistics were gathered from various sources:
- 6% of all PCs will suffer an episode of data loss in any given year. Given the number of PCs used in US businesses in 1998, that translates to approximately 4.6 million data loss episodes. At a conservative estimate, data loss cost US businesses $11.8 billion in 1998. (The Cost Of Lost Data, David M. Smith)
- 30% of all businesses that have a major fire go out of business within a year. 70% fail within five years. (Home Office Computing Magazine)
- 31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control.
- 34% of companies fail to test their tape backups, and of those that do, 77% have found tape back-up failures.
- 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster.
- 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately. (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
- American business lost more than $7.6 billion as a result of viruses during first six months of 1999. (Research by Computer Economics)
- Companies that aren’t able to resume operations within ten days (of a disaster hit) are not likely to survive. (Strategic Research Institute)
- Every week 140,000 hard drives crash in the United States. (Mozy Online Backup)
- Simple drive recovery can cost upwards of $7,500 and success is not guaranteed