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Grow Your Business Technology

Beyond the Bottom Line: How Data Loss Affects Employees

Beyond the Bottom Line: How Data Loss Affects Employees
Stolen or lost data can negatively impact a business' employees. / Credit: Employee image via Shutterstock

Losing company data doesn't just hurt a business' bottom line; it also negatively affects the company's employees.

Nearly two-thirds of IT professionals have experienced some form of data loss in their careers, according to research from backup and recovery solutions provider Carbonite. While 33 percent of those professionals said the result had been profit loss, and 32 percent said it led to a missed business opportunity, many also reported that data loss hurt their company's employees.

Specifically, 25 percent of those surveyed said employee work-life balance suffered after data was lost or stolen, while 24 percent said there was a drop in office morale. Additionally, 21 percent said their IT department became mirco-managed, 15 percent said employees were fired or laid off because of the incident and 11 percent reported that employees quit after their company experienced data loss.

"While data protection may be top of mind for IT, this report demonstrates why protecting data files should be a company-wide concern and policy," said David Friend, co-founder and CEO at Carbonite. "Beyond just the financial impact of data loss, most business owners don't realize how data loss can affect other aspects of their business, including their employees."

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In addition to the impact on employees, data loss does have a significant financial effect on businesses. The IT pros surveyed believe it would cost their companies an average of $468,610 in lost revenue if all their data files went missing. Overall, 40 percent of IT professionals who service small businesses believe it's likely their companies would go out of business if they permanently lost all their files.

Despite those negative consequences, the majority of small businesses are not concerned with the possibility of losing their data. Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed said the chance of their data being stolen was unlikely.

That lack of fear is evident in how often these businesses back up their files. Even though daily backups are recommended, less than a third of those companies surveyed had conducted a backup that day. The majority had backed up all of their business's documents and files within the past week, with 15 percent saying their most recent backup was up to a month old.

The study was based on surveys of 500 IT professionals at U.S. companies with fewer than 100 employees.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.