What Corporate Data Is On Your Employee’s Cell Phone? Is It Important To Backup?

cellphone.jpgA lot of time is spent warning small businesses about the importance of backing up data on computers and servers, however as employees get increasingly mobile, they are using their cell phones more and more. This means that some measure of corporate data resides on cell phones.

Those using smartphones connected to corporate networks or via web based tools do not have data saved on cell phones, as the data is saved directly to a server off of the cell phone. However, often times important contact information is saved on the cell phone’s address book.
The Atlanta Journal reports that AT&T hopes it has a solution. The telecom giant, in an effort to tap into the $24 billion to $64 billion small-to-medium business market, will now back up cellphone data for companies employing up to 100 people.
The offering is part of an assortment of products the San Antonio-based company has rolled out to broaden its footprint. AT&T already provides security products that let customers keep an eye on their property via the Web and back up information on the phone company’s data center. The data can be accessed, copied, stored or retrieved remotely from the data center.

For my Verizon Wireless phone, there is a free backup tool, however, if you are providing corporate owned cell phones to your 5 or 50 employees, it’s best to have a seamless, one account backup solution for the phones.
If a cell phone gets lost or an employee is fired, gets sick or otherwise it’s important that you are able to access the critical data stored on their cell phone.
Another backup is Outlook. Since I synchronize my cell phone to Outlook, there is a “built in” backup solution. If your employees are using Outlook with their cell phone then the data is already on your network via the synchronization.
It is also critical to properly manage the backup and access to data of notebook computers. Individual backup solutions are “ok” but just like the cell phone service above, it’s best to have a “one account”, centralized backup solution. I’ve been using Carbonite’s backup service for several months now and it offers a corporate account wherein they can back up many notebook (or desktop) computer’s data for a more centrally managed solution.