My entire day today has been one of frustration and wasted time. Well, the time was not so much "wasted" as much as' 'unproductive'.
My laptop had a major hissy fit last night and I was informed that the 120gb local drive was "used to 100% capacity". There was no reason for this as I do not use the local drive for the retention of any online records.
Being the advocate I am of appropriate online records management, you would assume that I have my data and records appropriate filed and backed up. I practice what I preach and this is exactly the case.
However, my shortfall was that I had purchased quite a lot of software online and therefore do not have physical copies. I have the records that I have produced from that software, but I am now going to have to go through a time consuming and painful exercise of having to find and reinstall the software hopefully without having to pay for it again.
I have learned a painful lesson from this and I share it with you as a risk that you too should mitigate. In larger organizations, I encourage them to manage a register of various types of information. A register of their mobile equipment, a register of printers & relevant details, a register of software, libraries and many other compilations of information surrounding a list of assets.
I did not do the same for myself concerning my own software and I am beating myself around the head because of it. I have access to what I've installed, passwords etc – but it will take me a great deal longer to rectify because I did not compile this into a simple list with all the variables and details included.
So there are two things I should have been doing:
- Maintain a Software Register including all purchase, installation, password and user details within the IMS / Source (part of the online Records Management system).
- Ensure the first step of any downloadable software initiated a "save" of the installation file to a specific location on the IMS so that it could have been backed up and installed at a later date.
So, I will recover and I have my online records and data structured and backed up as well.
Thank goodness for external USB network drives. They are so cheap now that there is no excuse for not having an appropriate records management structure and also an independent backup.
No matter how small or how large your business, you need to give your records AND your software the respect they deserve regarding disaster recovery. In the meantime, of course, my laptop is dropped apart and laying in pieces on a workshop bench in the hands of a professional. I can simply plug in my external usb drives into any other computer and keep working (so far as the limited software allows me).
It's always frustrating and time consuming when there are technical issues, and I never claim to be technical so I put my hand up for outside assistance. Disaster recovery and Records Management go hand in hand. I simply should have included disaster recovery for installed and downloaded software as well. It is a lesson well learnt.
I trust you are having a far more productive day than I did.