Posted March 27, 2017 by Ryan S
A Day in the Life of an IT guy.
It’s Tuesday, 8:22am, and I just got a call from a panicked office manager. She’s having problems getting into her system and things are not working right. Nobody in the office can get into their software to start their day. Unfortunately, as an IT technician, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this happen. A virus attack, hard drive failure, or even something as simple as accidental deletion of a file can quickly create chaos for a business. My first question…Do you have a backup?
The next part of our conversation can go one of three ways. 1) There is no backup. 2) There is a backup. But, it wasn’t working properly or backing up the right stuff. 3) There is a backup and it’s good, it’s recent, and we’re on our way to restoring the data and getting them up and running. What path would you be headed down?
Backups can mean the difference between picking up where you left off or starting completely over from scratch. Backups should be one of the most important decisions a dental practice owner makes. They can be done multiple ways. It may be as simple as plugging in an external hard drive and manually copying the files you want. Or, it could be a fully automated, encrypted, secure backup to an offsite storage location.
The answer to that question all depends on the type of business you’re in, the amount of data backed up, and how quickly you need that data back if it’s taken away. More often than not, dental software and digital imaging relies on hundreds or thousands of files and folders and even multiple databases. Your day to day operation depends on all of them to be there and working. Considering anything less than a fully automated offsite backup solution is a gamble you don’t want to take.
Putting your data at risk each day at the cost of a cup of Starbucks isn’t worth it. It is far too easy to accidentally open an email and get hit with a ransomware virus, for a hard drive to reach its end-of-life, or for any number of unforeseen things to happen. Data that is held hostage or even damaged can leave you with a business that is brought to a screeching halt. If you have a good backup and a reliable service partner who makes it a priority to get you through a crisis, you can recover with relatively little pain and interruption.
Let’s get back to where my call started on Tuesday morning. Fortunately for her and the practice, we headed down path #3. They were doing a secure offsite backup. I was able to clean the virus from the computer, reload the operating system and programs, and get the data restore underway. Soon they were back to their business of taking care of patients.
If I can leave you with one piece of advice on this World Backup Day, consider your data. Consider its value, the role it plays in your everyday, how hard it works for you from scheduling to clinical notes, planned treatments and taking x-rays. Electronic dental records are amazing and I don’t know of anyone who wants to go back to paper chart days. But those records need to be protected and a reliable, secure, offsite backup is the first step in doing so.