Data loss refers to:
"the inability to access and/or retrieve information from a computer media device due to physical or human error."
Everyone at some time or another has experienced some form of data loss. Whether you are a student who has accidentally deleted or lost an essay, to a corporate enterprise that has lost its accounting records and client database during a failed server upgrade. Data loss affects everyone and in extreme cases can even put a company out of business altogther. Without proper back up procedures in place, including a testing platform to ensure backups have been successful, you are leaving the door open to becoming the next victim of a data disaster.
What many people and companies do not realize is that knowledge capital has become the bread and butter of business development. Everything we learn, everything we develop, and everyone we meet gets logged and recorded on our desktop pcs. Without this information, many companies simply cannot operate and are forced to shut down.
We have entered into the information age and to be successful we must learn not only to appreciate the benefits that technology has given us, but we must also recognize the potential of failure that may arise from our new found dependency. Therefore, in order to harness the technology around us and use it efficiently, we must be able to identify potential data loss situations and take the necessary precautions to prevent them from happening.
Key Causes of Data Loss:
There are a number of problems that can occur resulting in a data loss crisis.
- Software Failures
- Application Failures
- File Corruption
- Hard Drive Crashes
- Server Failures
- Tape Cartridge Failures
- RAID Configuration Failure
- Power Surges
- Natural Disasters (floods, earthquakes, fires, lightning)
- Human Error
What Results Can Occur During A Data Loss Crisis:
- Employee Downtime
- Clogged Help Desk queues
- Lost productivity
- Compromised information
- Loss of client/customer information
- Increaded wear and tear on IT support staff
- Loss of accounting records
- Loss of term papers and key project documentation
- Loss of memories such as family portraits, vacation photos, letters, and personl documents
What business impact can a data loss situation have?
- Loss of opportunity inclucing sales, consulting fees, and related income generators.
- Increased support costs
- Data loss results in a higher total cost of ownership for each PC
- Increased operational costs
- Client/customer care disruptions
- Business development temporaraily or permanently stalled
- Bankruptcy and/or foreclosure