Do you ever get that uneasy feeling in your stomach when you shut down your laptop, desktop or file server at the end of the day that it just may not start the next time you need it? You know that same feeling you get when you are watching your favorite football team blow a 20 point lead in the fourth quarter. Would losing that important sales contract, or that architecture design that you just spent the last five days creating cause that same feeling? I bet it would! In fact I bet you would have some additional anxiety when trying to explain to your manager and or customer that you lost the only electronic copy of an agreed contract. I would probably rather lay on a bed of nails. So you have to ask yourself: How can I avoid or prevent this from happening to me?

Protecting your workforce’s data has never been such a high priority, particularly in the era of remote work forces, where companies close offices, eliminate long-term lease deals, and slash heating, electric and other various infrastructure costs. One of the areas that requires careful consideration is protecting the intellectual capital of the remote work force. The contracts, architecture designs, and other technical materials need to be protected on a daily basis. And yes, there are infrastructure costs from a person, process, and technology perspective, but trust me—they’re worth it.

What does a good night’s sleep mean to you? In the event of an emergency, would knowing you are able to recover a lost sales contract or a senior executive’s email messages on a moment’s notice relieve feelings of fear, uncertainty, and doubt? Do you want to eliminate those uneasy discussions with management or the regulatory compliance entanglements that you could incur? It’s never too late to rethink your approach to an efficient and cost-effective remote data protection and recovery strategy.

So how do you that? First, define the requirements for the data protection solution. I have had many discussions with customers about the need to determine the data are you attempting to protect, its relevance to the business and where it resides

I recently talked with the management of a rapidly expanding financial data and investment firm whose remote workers handle critical and confidential financial information on a daily basis across the globe. The company knew they needed to protect themselves and their customer base against data loss, but they didn’t have a formal process and had real no way of knowing who and what was being protected. I call this the “Hail Mary” approach to data protection – just fling up a pass and hope that it completes successfully. This approach clearly leaves one open to possible litigation procedures in the event of data loss. You don’t have to wonder how their management felt on a daily basis.

Another example hit closer to home. A few months back, I called one of our partners to get a copy of a PowerPoint presentation. When I inquired about it, I was told that their laptop was stolen and they didn’t have a backup copy. Thankfully, they found a copy of the presentation at another location, but can you imagine what other data may have been lost. No one will ever really know.

The first lesson you should get from this is you need to know, not hope your data will be available.