What’s Your Data Worth?

When someone asks the question “how much is your PC worth to you?” What do you think of? The processor, RAM, hard drive, DVD drive, monitor, keyboard, and mouse? That’s probably somewhere between $500 and $1000 depending on what you’ve got.

More important than the machine and its parts is what's inside. How much is your DATA worth to you? The excel spreadsheets, word documents, Quickbooks files, financial data, photos of friends and family, emails, videos, music. Think about all of the programs you have installed on your PC. What about the comfort level you have with where all of your “stuff” is on that computer and how to find it. What is all of THAT worth to you?

In a study done in 2003 of the cost to recover lost data,the average price per incident is around $4000. That number includes a) the cost of the technical services to retrieve your data, b) the cost of lost productivity while the data is unavailable, and c) the value of the lost data itself. That study was done 10 years ago and some of the data they used in the study was several years old. Contemplate how much more data you are storing on your computer than you were back then. How much more reliant are you on your computer?

Over 40% of all data loss is due to hardware failures. Another 30% is due to human error. Software corruption, computer viruses, and natural disasters make up the other 30%. All of these different types of data loss may not be able to be prevented, but they can be planned for. Measures can be taken to ensure that your data is protected and recoverable in case one of these events occur.

Now, contemplate these scenarios:

  • Someone broke into your office (or house) over the weekend and stole your computer
  • You spilled coffee on your laptop and now it won't turn on
  • A fire ravaged your office and melted your computer
  • You are in the middle of working on a presentation, your computer gives you the "blue screen of death" and you realize that your hard drive has failed
  • The electricity flickers and now your customer database won't load. You are getting an error that it is corrupt

Close your eyes and imagine that one of these scenarios has happened to you. You have lost your computer and all of that data on it. Or you have lost some data that is vitally important to operate your business. How do you feel? Panicky and stressed out because you don’t know how you’ll EVER recover? Will it take you months to rebuild your QuickBooks data? Have you lost all of the digital photos you had of your pets, kids, grandkids?

If you have planned for such a disaster, you may only feel irritated that the computer is gone but secure in the fact that you have a good backup. A full copy of your computer is sitting safely on an external hard drive and in the cloud. So while it is inconvenient that you have to replace the machine, all of the data and programs that you use are safe.

If you are a business owner, think about all of the PCs that are part of your business. What are they each worth to you? When you’ve lost the data and programs that are on any one of those PCs, you’ve also lost the time of the employee who uses that PC. Consider the time wasted in dealing with computer issues in your business. As a business owner, you know as well as anyone that time equals money. If your business is reliant on computers, what is it worth to you to ensure that the data on those computers is protected?

Time and time again, we have been called in to recover lost data. Without good backup plans, we've seen people devastated that their family vacation photos are gone forever; businesses who have lost months of financial data; users who have lost several days of productivity while waiting for data to be recovered and their computers to be rebuilt. For businesses who have a good disaster recovery plan, we've seen corrupt databases recovered in minutes; new hard drives installed and backups restored within hours. Having good backups and a disaster recovery plan for your data will save you time and give you peace of mind.

So, how much is your data worth? We'd be happy to have a free consultation with you and help you figure it out! Give us a call (567-429-1776) or send us an email (info@wcitservices.com).

 

References

"Statistics About Leading Causes of Data Loss." Protect Data. Web. 12 Apr 2013. http://www.protect-data.com/information/statistics.html

Smith, David M. PhD. "The Cost of Data Loss." Graziadio Business Review. 2003. Web. 12 Apr 2013. http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/2010/08/the-cost-of-lost-data/

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