Marketing and public relations agencies use sophisticated computer graphics programs to produce projects of all types and sizes for a multitude of clients.

When a computer hard drive or server crashes or is otherwise inaccessible, thousands of dollars in production and time are lost, creating untold hardship to all concerned. The larger the agency, the more costly the crashes.

Many agencies believe that archiving client projects on CDs or zip drives is sufficient to protect them.

Yet, most projects are not archived until they are completed, which leaves a great amount of work-in-progress at risk. Additionally, zip drives are not, and were not, intended as back-ups—only to allow easier access to larger files.

When a computer system hard drive or server crashes, is stolen or otherwise destroyed, these archives become useless.

As a safeguard to system losses, a number of in-house and off-site back-up systems have been developed. However, in the hectic, often rushed, work environment of agencies, in-house back-ups are inadequate.

Most people forget to back-up their daily work. In-house back-up tapes, when used, are temperature sensitive, as well as very unreliable due to their tendency to stretch and break. If left on a desktop, they are easily damaged or destroyed if anything is spilled on them.

While computer technicians advise clients to keep their system back-ups off site, 95% do not. Most often, in-house back-ups are stored next to the computer, making them susceptible to unforeseen office accidents.

An estimated 90 percent of agencies and companies have no back-up rotation schedule or plan to protect the computer system files and information against hard drive or server crashes.

Of those agencies/companies who do have in-house back-up plans, 98 percent do not verify the information, or test their particular back-up system, to ensure that it was properly performed.

To marketing and public relations agencies, time is money. Their clients demand and expect deadlines be timely and efficiently met, whether the jobs are rush or have a set date for completion.

With the use of sophisticated back-up programs, off-site computers are able to back-up the complete computer system with daily, weekly or monthly projects at a scheduled time.

Should the unforeseen occur—computer theft, fire, crashes—agencies and companies have peace of mind that they can have their systems can once again be fully functional—saving untold time and money in reproduction costs.

By Elaine Johnson for the Business Examiner