Make sure you have the latest iOS version on your phone! If you dont have an iCLOUD account... Set one up!
Theyre FREE! once you do that, make sure youre connected to a wifi network(will go faster) and back up your phone to ICLOUD. There no longer is a need for you to back up your phone to a desktop unless your just hellbent on doing so. The Cloud is awesome. If you were to lose or have your phone stolen or it just dies and your away from home youre hosed right? Well only if you just back up to your desktop. If your backed up to the cloud you can get the info to your new phone from anywhere in the world, relatively speaking. Also you have access to findmyiPhone.
ps. Almost forgot. You only need lion if you want to sync your desktop to the cloud. I e. your phone updates icloud, your desktop updates icloud, icloud updates both your phone and desktop. The desktop is about to become irrelevant! pshaw.