Cost of lost data in Retail
Modern Retailers are totally IT dependent. No doubt that IT has helped Retailers to control their operations efficiently and reduce cost but it has few drawbacks too. Retailers become helpless when their IT system fails no matter whether it is a virus attack, software bug or a hardware breakdown. In spite of precaution and preventive measures which Retailers might have taken to avoid these, they are bound to happen sometime or other. And whenever they happen, it causes risk to their most valuable digital asset – ‘’Data’’.
Retailers now a day’s operate round the clock and take care of minute things due to competition but they put their productivity as well as profitability in stale by not taking adequate measure to back up and protect their data. A study revealed that almost 2/3rd of the retailers takes a day or more to recover data due to system failure. Just imagine a scenario where a retailer is not able to access the data for last 24 hrs:
- No record of what sold in last 24 hrs.
- Stock matching cannot be done.
- No idea of what to order to keep shelves full.
- Record of new customer added to customer database for the day lost.
- Customer queries etc. for the day lost which will cause dissatisfaction to customers.
- Records of CRM and Loyalty program for the day at stake.
- Sales based incentives of employees for the day lost.
- Cannot verify cash.
- Details of the goods returned by customers lost.
Many retailers back up their servers at HO and also take regular backups. Servers are the lifeline of IT infrastructure and it’s necessary to ensure that they are safe and backed up. But still a large chunk of retailers do back up manually on even don’t do at all! Not all data which an employee is working on is on network as they keep them loosely on desktop and work on them even when they are away from network. As per an estimate almost 60% of organizations data are on workstation and not on their servers. Thus retailers need to ensure that both servers as well as workstations are backed-up automatically.
Frequency of Back-up:
How often retailers backs up data is again an important factor. Though most of the retailers back up every day end of the day, many even wait till end of the week which is suicidal. Greater the frequency lesser will be the loss from such disasters. A safer approach is to have automatic back up few times a day.
Test your DR (Disaster Recovery) Strategy:
Having regular successful back-ups and structured DR Strategy makes Retailers confident that they will be able to recover their data. But majority of retailers don’t even test there DR Strategy once a year also. Retailers need to understand that if they don’t test it regularly than it might not work when actually required, putting all efforts in vain and will put all their data on stake causing huge losses. To be on safer side, they should test their DR strategy quarterly.
Off late, loss of data has become a primary concern for retailers and has significant implication on their finance and productivity. A bad DR Strategy can challenge business continuity of the Retailers whereas a sound one can minimize the risk from such disaster.
- Rajeev Damani