Why you need to backup your data – Best Practises for Microsoft Dynamics

The very best advice I can give any business leader is not to leave your data security to your IT team or partner. If you do, your gambling with the very existence of your business and the livelihoods of everyone who works there.

This this is a strong statement?  Well let’s put it this way, if 50% of your debtors disappeared what would it do to your solvency? What will your customers think if you have to ring them and ask “by the way what do you have on order with us again?” Would that be good? No? Well if your Dynamics NAV data is ‘gone’ what else are you going to do?

The three most difficult days of my twenty-five years in IT are the three separate occasions that I’ve had to tell a company’s management that their data doesn’t exist anymore. ALL of them thought they had secure backups and in one case had spent tens of thousands on a failsafe system to protect it. The fatal mistake was that they never tested it and they only became aware that it wasn’t working when they needed it.

One of those companies lost their debtors and had to try to reconstruct them. Trouble is they, like lots of other companies, had decided that they could reprint their invoices – so no need for hard copies. When their servers hard drive failed and the backup tape didn’t have their live database on it, they didn’t even have records of who new customers were. How do you ask them then?

That company spent 6 months reconstructing their accounts and lost 25% of their debtor’s, worth over £800,000. If they had not had a parent company with deep pockets they would have gone bust. As it was, the MD & FD (as the people responsible) where gone before that six months was up. They went from being a growing vibrant company to struggling to survive. Insurance didn’t cover them because the small print obligates you to do valid backups of your data and protect those adequately.

So please, please, please make sure you rigorously test your systems and don’t leave it to chance. Get them tested at least every six months by getting either your IT people or your external company to restore to a completely separate system periodically. Make sure you can log in and see the data that is of value to your business.

Don’t assume your cloud service provider is doing this for you – make them prove it.  Built into my companies contracts are the process of providing a full backup of our cloud customer’s data three times a year. For one customer we do it weekly. Make sure yours does the same otherwise their mistake or failure could wipe you out.

If you want to take an irrational gamble go take up extreme sports, I don’t want a forth occasion – so I make no apologies in being as blunt and repetitive on this message as I can be.

Author: James Crowter

I’m passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I’ve worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I’ve seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I’ve also had some hard projects over that time where it’s felt more like warfare at times. Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I’ve been working with a small Danish product called Navision that’s now become Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV and I’ve also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I’ve been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It’s my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction. So colleagues & clients have asked me to start this blog to share some of the insight that both this knowledge (obviously where not restricted by NDA’s or client confidentiality) and experience can help. Specifically I want to concentrate not on the specifics of how (there are some great blogs already for that) but why. If any user helps their business make better decisions or consultant can give better advice then that will be objective achieved. I founded Technology Management in 1992 and have led from the front ever since. Helping clients use technology to grow their business is my passion through explaining technology in terms that everyone can understand. My interest in computing began at the age of eight, long before my school had the equipment to cope. Throughout school and university I developed software commercially. I hold many IT certifications, such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV (for over 17 years), Microsoft Dynamics CRM (for over 10 years), as well as Microsoft Windows Server, Exchange and SQL. In October 2015, I was awarded the title of Most Valuable Professional (MVP), a title given to a select few individuals (31 currently) across the world specifically for Dynamics NAV. After years of working with a range of distribution and manufacturing software for hundreds of organisations, I focus on understanding the business requirements of an organisation, what it will take to deliver the systems required to maximise their potential. Follow me online via my other social channels: - Twitter: @jamescrowter - LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jamescrowter Or email me directly at james[.]crowter[@]tecman.co.uk.

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