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  • Writer's pictureJack Arnston

Cold Weather Blanket of Protection

Winter may officially still be a few days away, but that has not prevented a polar vortex from driving our temperatures here in Wisconsin to negative double digits. As I write this blog, it is a balmy one degree outside. Well, at least the sun is shining.

When the temperature dips to these levels we are reminded by the news and alerts on our phones to dress properly, put extra clothes and blankets in our cars and make sure our gas tank is full. It is helpful to have these reminders to take the proper precautions, and one step outside reminds us that we should follow them.

It 'd be good if we had these same alerts and reminders for the important documents that we have in our offices. You know the ones. AP invoices, HR personnel files, business contracts, tax records, pay stubs, the list goes on and on. Sure, there are the occasional reminders on the news; a local fire destroys an office building, a tornado wipes out a business park, floods ravage downtown business district. Our human nature is to think that it will not happen to us. But what if it did? We protect our family and business by purchasing insurance; health (e.g. business, home, life), so why not do the same things with our important documents?

Today’s technology makes it easy to scan and store paper. Many times we receive documents as a PDF file, already in digital format. What we are missing, is a secure way to organize and save these digital files, while creating a secure and reliable backup. All while making the files available within seconds, right from our PC, tablet or phone.

Well that technology is readily available at a surprisingly affordable price. Cloud based document management solutions check all of the boxes above. Information is indexed and stored in a manner that makes retrieval easy and efficient. Retrieval options include all of the common devices including PCs, tablets and smart phones. Your data is backed up on redundant servers to different parts of the country. Information is accessible 24/7, whenever you need it, where ever you are. And this is all available for a few dollars a day.

It is so ironic that when I look at what I spend on health insurance these days it makes me sick. I hope that I will never need the level of medical care that reflects what I pay in premiums. But I still pay my monthly bill, understanding that if I did become seriously ill I have insurance that will pay the cost of doctors, lab tests, medication and hospital stays.

Well, the same things holds true for our vital business documents. Gartner reported that 43 percent of companies were immediately put out of business by a “major loss” of computer records, and another 51 percent permanently closed their doors within two years. A Chamber 101 article written by Corina Mullen identifies a FEMA report that forty percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year. Similar statistics from the United States Small Business Administration indicate that over 90 percent of businesses fail within two years after being struck by a disaster.

So, the question is, why would you take the chance of your business failing after a catastrophe, if for only a few dollars a day you could protect it. It seems like an inexpensive insurance policy that will also make your company more efficient should be a no brainer. Think of it as a blanket of protection for your company.

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