By Richard Messik, Chartered Accountant and Co-founder of Cloud Advocates

I was struck by a quote from Richard Branson talking about the recent fire that destroyed his house on his Caribbean Island. Talking about the loss of records that went up in the inferno he says:

“......Running a business, we have a meticulous computer backup system so I’d assumed all that was completely safe. But it turns out the backup was also in the house. Everything …...is lost”

On so many levels, I was astounded when I read this. If a sophisticated business man like Richard Branson can make the fundamental error of having the backup of his data in the same place as the data itself then what hope is there for the rest of us. And yet I speak to so many people who do just this.

Yes they back up the data but no they don’t always take it off premise. And those who do don’t check to see that the backup can be restored …. and it is a principal rule of chance that the time that you really need to restore your data, the backup won’t work.

What is equally surprising about Branson’s quote is that by taking the most simplest of precautions none of his data would have been lost. Setting up a Cloud offline filing system such as Dropbox or the literally hundreds of other systems that exist, all of his data would have been secure and available the next time he logged on to any computer anywhere in the world.

The problem is that so many so called IT experts still turn their noses up at the concept of the Cloud. Had they got off their high horses and adopted what is the most efficient and secure method of keeping data safe, the loss of Richard’s Branson’s autobiography manuscript would have been one less thing for him to worry about.

Richard Messik is a Chartered Accountant who specialises in Cloud Computing. He is a co founder of Cloud Advocates,an association of consultants who aim to demystify the Cloud and provide pragmatic help and advice for businesses, organizations and accounting practices. To find out more, visit cloudadvocates.com

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