If your business is in the middle of an office relocation – or if you are in the planning stages of a massive corporate relocation – it’s essential to place an emphasis on protecting your company’s essential data during your move.
When people think of “essential business data,” they often think of credit card numbers or the personal information of clients. However, the fact is that essential data comes in many different forms. A lost accounting report, for example, could be used by a competitor to determine your best clients. Even something simple, like a clerk’s old computer, could contain years worth of email records – and who knows what might be in that pile of old emails.
The point is, when data – even seemingly innocuous data – is lost, the costs can be substantial. Therefore, it’s important to protect your company’s electronic data during a corporate relocation. Here are three suggestions:
1. Store backups of important data on portable drives, then assign them to individual employees for transport.
There are many mobile solutions for data storage, with the largest of these being able to hold terabytes of information. So no matter what kind of data you have, there is almost always an affordable mobile solution which can fit your business needs.
Once you have the data on a mobile device, put a trusted employee in charge of that device and ask them to transport it personally. While it might sound excessive, this process keeps things from accidentally getting lost during the move and avoids finger pointing after the fact.
2. Upload all your data to an online storage service.
Online storage services take the responsibility of physically handling your data during a move completely out of your hands. Amazon’s S3 service offers 99.999999999% reliability, a simple interface, and it’s incredibly affordable.
The benefits of online storage are:
You don’t have to worry as much about losing or damaging a hard drive during a move.
Professional data handling companies automatically mirror your data on multiple servers, so giving your data to them once is the same as making multiple backups.
It’s easy to access the data from any Internet connection, so it’s no problem for employees to get back to work at the new office.
Of course these can all be negatives too. When the data isn’t physically located in your office, it’s that much easier for someone to copy or steal. If you decide to store important data online, be sure to consult with a computer security expert first.
3. Don’t forget: You must also protect your data from physical threats.
If you’re wondering where there’s all this emphasis on backups, it’s because computers can break, lose data, or even be stolen during a move. Hard drives are mechanical devices, and it’s not uncommon to have a hard drive fail during a move because it’s been jostled or dropped. Therefore, it’s critical to have a backup before your relocation commences.
It’s also important to remember that computers are much more likely to be stolen during an office move than at any other time. The reason? It’s hard to keep an eye on everything when an office is being relocated, and it’s really easy for someone to say a computer was “lost” during a move without causing suspicion. Therefore, when moving your company’s computer, put a few employees in charge of watching the computer equipment and make sure that they’re making a count at every stage of the moving process.
If you follow these simple rules, your company will not suffer any data loss, which means there won’t be any lost production, no danger that your competitors have access to your client list (or worse), and very little chance that your secret formulas will end up plastered on WikiLeaks. Good luck!
Author Jason Lancaster works with TRC Global Solutions, a corporate relocation company.