A client of ours recently asked us for our input on what options made sense for backing up their QuickBooks Point of Sale data. While customers who get the annual support from Intuit, get free online backup, the total cost doesn’t always make sense, we wanted to explore other options.
The landscape for backing up business’s data has been changed significantly over the past several years. The two biggest drivers of this are the significant drop in memory costs and the advent of “the Cloud” combined with the resurgence of Software as a Service (SAAS). Whereas once the most practical option was to backup to an external hard drive, now there are many more options that are just as if not more feasible for the average business. Additionally many business software applications are now available in a Software as a Service model and the data is kept on the host servers which they are backed up by the service provider.
The two main types of backup options are:
External Hard Drives – Due to improvements in technology these are both readily available and extremely affordable. Seagate and Western Digital are current market leaders and offer many lost cost reliable models. Hard drives come in solid state which make them more portable or with moving 3.5 inch drives which are vulnerable to vibrations and failure but can store a tremendous amount of data. In most cases this option is an onsite solution and leaves the business exposed to some risk of loss.
Online Storage Services – Carbonite and Crashplan offer a variety of options allowing you to automatically backup locally, remotely and in the cloud. Other services such as Dropbox and iCloud offer cloud based backup but is not as easily automated if at all. Costs for these services range in price from free to in most practical cases $280 per year.
In summary for ease of use and risk avoidance, I would personally recommend automatically backing up your business software application to the computer’s or server’s hard drive and then having an online service back it up. It’s easy to set up an automated schedule so do it and set it to do at least daily.
The Shared Finance Center provides outsourced accounting, bookkeeping and fractional CFO support to small business owners and in doing so we heavily focus on maximizing cash flow. We are headquartered in Roswell, Georgia and work with clients across the United States. If you think that this post would be helpful to anyone you know, please pass it along. Also please follow our blog for regular tips to grow your business.