This article from the New Orleans Times-Picayune details how the City of New Orleans lost 20 months of real estate records through a disorganized faulty data backup and disaster recovery management process.
Rather than dwell on this unfortunate situation, it should serve as a reminder for local government to not ignore data backup and disaster recovery. The results are often disastrous, embarrassing, and a way to make taxpayers very angry.
It may seem acceptable (and cheap) to use a common offsite backup provider that one would use at home. However, when local government chooses that route the burden of supporting that data backup also falls upon them. Data backup for an entire municipality (often involving extremely sensitive data) can be quite complex, and it requires a higher level of support to help cities manage it.
Take a look at your current data backup solution and ask yourself:
1. Do we have a sufficient online and offsite data backup process?2. Are we testing our backups on a regular schedule?3. Is auditing provided by the city’s IT staff and/or data backup vendor documenting that all city data is being backed up properly?
Consumer offsite data backup solutions are great. But for cities, the difference between backup success and disaster often comes down to the business processes around data backup.
Before your municipality goes the route of New Orleans, read our article discussing why consumer-grade data backup solutions are not sufficient for cities.
“Departments would be required to submit data sets to an online landing pad where that data would be publicly accessible by anyone to develop applications, to see what The City is doing and generally just promote transparency and accountability and openness.”
What’s your take on open data for municipalities?
Download the presentation here.
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