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Why MSP’s need a “real” Backup & Recovery Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

6 Key Points all MSP’s Should Consider

Despite the existence of intelligent computers that can calculate future probabilities, there are still unpredictable events that every business should be aware of. Natural disasters, cyber-attacks, and even the malfunctioning of those intelligent computers’ hard drives are all misfortunes that can strike with little to no warning.

Frankly, countless computers will experience a system failure at some point. If your client’s computer is one of the unfortunate ones, their stored data has the potential to be entirely lost. However, with a properly documented and executed backup policy in place, your client’s business-essential data is guaranteed to be backed up, secured, and easily accessible.

2 Simple Reasons Your MSP Process Needs a documented Backup Policy

The purpose of a backup policy is not only to safeguard your client’s informational assets and prevent the loss of data but just as importantly, allows you to have a standardized business process to effectively manage and restore service quickly.

  • Backup is the First Step Towards Recovery Although often grouped, the terms “backup” and “recovery” are not equivalent. Backup is the act of storing data in separate storage locations so it can be restored if the original files are ever lost or damaged. Recovery is the act of restoring that data, requiring the right people, processes, and tools to be ready when needed. Businesses can recover quicker with an MSP that has a well-documented and followed backup policy in place.

  • Even Backup Software Can Fail Undeserved faith in data backup software has left many MSPs hanging post-disaster. Don’t rely on your backup software to always work. Make sure you’ve documented what your mitigation and contingency plan will be for each client according to their service plan. And most importantly, make sure both you and your clients regularly review the plan to ensure alignment. You’d be surprised how many time’s we’ve seen this turn into a great upsell opportunity.

Critical Points to Include in your Backup Policy

Every MSP backup policy will be different. However, MSPs can provide consistent backup services to their clients by taking the time to create a template that can be effortlessly modified and shared. In addition to the template, key points your MSP backup policy should include are:

  • Method of Backup MSP's face the challenge of variety. Some clients prefer cloud storage while others prefer on-site storage. Whatever the case, the policy will need to outline the use of physical backup, cloud backup, or a combination of both for each client.

  • Optimized Backup Schedule Backups should be automated and scheduled to avoid any potential interruptions with business operations. In the event of high transaction databases which require more frequent backups, document what type of backup will be utilized in that scenario, how frequently and why it differs from your standard backup procedure.

  • Backup Policy Testing As a best practice, backup policies should be routinely tested. You and your client should organize a team that would be trained on how to access and restore data as quickly as possible.

  • Backup Data Protection Allow a small number of trusted employees access to backups. This adds an extra layer of security around the data and avoids unwanted intrusions.

More and more companies are taking steps to protect their data from accidental or intentional loss. With a properly thought-out backup policy in place, you are not only helping your clients avoid becoming one of the many businesses that close and never reopen again due to data loss, but you will have a confident and prepared team.


Ready to create SOP's for your MSP business? We can help! Our mission at MSPwerks is to develop MSP tools targeted to help MSP's run their business, reduce employee stress, increase overall productivity, and generate healthy revenue. Our MSP tool, SOPwerks, is an easy-to-use, online platform that makes creating quality SOP's simple and fast. Create your own SOP from scratch or use one of our MSP SOP templates filled with checklists designed by MSP industry experts. Learn more here:

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