Everyone wants a second chance. With proper planning, IT is one of the few areas in which a second chance – or redo – is possible.
- There is a joke that successful people save early and often. Train users to save files as they work, not just when they are done for the day.
- Back up critical files on a personal computer so that they are not lost, whether due to a hardware failure or malicious software infection. Aim to do this weekly if not daily.
- Back up critical software files and software applications if they are not available online. Try to back these files up monthly if not part of a standard computer backup.
- Backup online bookmarks at least quarterly. This interval can be reduced if someone backs up their browser bookmarks as part of the regular computer backup.
- Back up copies of functional operating systems prior to system refreshes or upgrades. This should be true for user PCs as well as servers.
- Backup servers prior to software or hardware upgrades.
- Save and back up software modules every time work is completed by the developer. Use software configuration management tools to maintain separate iterations and versions of software code modules. Create new iterations for every software change, creating a backup of the old software code module in the process. The benefit of being able to recover and reuse every bit of code is often worth far more than the modestly higher memory usage of this method.
One of the benefits of information technology is the ability to start again – with proper planning. What else can you do to help your users, computers and network to start over when the need arises?