Managing Increased Data Storage Demands
As the volume of data generated by your ordinary company keeps growing, is your company grappling with how to store and manage its data efficiently?.
Data storage may represent a massive investment to your business. And, just like any investment, it’s important you’re able to show a strong return on the expenditure. You want to find a means to store, handle and recover data in a way that keeps costs down and productivity up.
It becomes harder if your business grows faster than you predicted. That expansion can lead to rocketing data storage needs, and a scramble to create the infrastructure to support them.
It is difficult to keep data organized, especially when it’s shared between several individuals. You must think about copies, access rights and other safety precautions — and of course only naming documents and structuring folders so you may find exactly what you want.
Huge data storage capacity
That is a good deal of information your company is generating.
This growth is growing at a startling rate. Driven by ever-expanding quantities of data stored as mails, videos and photos, the amount of information we generate worldwide is doubling every two years. Against that background, effective data storage and management is far more crucial than ever to businesses.
But really, most companies already have access to this storage capacity they want. The research found that approximately one in six small companies across Europe are using less than 25 percent of their overall server capacity. Most are conducting some way under capacity.
This strongly suggests that companies have the room to take care of the data explosion. What they lack is good storage and organization management.
Data storage in the heart of Your Company
In fact, with data at the core of several companies, managing that data represents one of their largest challenges faced by firms. For example, can your company operate effectively without access to the client database, product information, bookkeeping system or files?
The secret is to simplify, standardize and automate your data storage infrastructure so that you can focus on managing the business instead of the technology.
It is cheap to buy data storage. The problem is performance. Storage does not end with simply storing an increasing number of data.
Some bits of information will regularly have to be transferred or accessed. By way of example, with some systems you can create a report from older data in seconds. With others, it may take a while to trawl back and locate the information that you want.
The possibility your company might be not able to retrieve its old, sensitive or business critical data is a very real one. It requires time and costs money to repair.
Over nine out of ten (93%) of small companies in Europe have undergone an IT outage that’s hit their capacity to continue business. Incredibly, 17% claim this occurs at least once each week.
You need the right data storage supplier
To stop data recovery being a hassle for your business, you will need to work with an IT provider which understands the best way to access and use data. By getting to grips with exactly what information you use regularly, what you use occasionally and what is just there is just in case we ever need it’, you can save yourself money.
The crucial thing is to set tiers to your data, based on how important it is. Your client database would probably sit in the top tier. You access it daily and it’s crucial to doing business. You may store it using the fastest available type of storage and you might choose to mirror it around two distinct places to ensure continuity.
Sure, you still need to keep them safe and backed up but archiving them onto a secondary server may be sufficient.
Data storage gets you an edge
In the end, businesses which prepare for growth by deploying innovative data storage technologies will be able to operate more effectively, giving them an advantage over the competition.
And even if you’re not pursuing a high-growth plan, it’s important to identify any risks with your current storage systems. You can achieve this by approaching a provider that requires a consultative method of storage. They’ll help you realize the dangers and clarify what type of storage system best meets your needs.
There is not any one-size-fits-all remedy, so above all it is important to concentrate on what best matches your business.
If the worst were to happen to your business IT system, could you carry on working? Careful continuity planning along with a reliable backup system will ensure you can keep operating with minimal disruption.
Business continuity planning explained
Business continuity planning involves anticipating problems that could interrupt your company’s capability to function properly. For company IT, these problems typically fall into two categories:
- Physical dangers, like fire, flooding or theft or collapse of crucial equipment.
- Software dangers, such as viruses, Trojans and hackers.
It is important that your emergency planning measures guarantee fast small business recovery for key systems.
Disaster planning: it may never happen, but…
Fantastic continuity planning involves systematically analyzing the threats to your business:
- Evaluate the dangers. As an example, a fire on your assumptions, a virus infection or the failure of your online connection.
- How likely is the threat to happen? Some are far more probable than others. Get expert help to assess risk levels. Your IT provider could have the ability to assist.
- Work out the potential damage. For instance, would the danger take your principal client database offline? Or would the effect be comparatively minor?
Your continuity planning should priorities risks with the highest probability of occurring and the potential to cause most harm.
As an example, a power cut could take your server offline. Or, in case your client database is stored in a cloud pc service, decreasing your internet connection could leave you unable to check customer details.
In both cases, you could look at adding backup systems. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can continue to keep your server running, and a cheap broadband service may supply a secondary internet connection.
Your business recovery plan
In addition to taking steps to reduce the chance of the scenarios you identify occurring, your small business recovery plan should explain how your company will react in the event of an issue.
Establish procedures to follow in case something goes wrong. Have clear lines of communication to notify key individuals quickly.
Have a plan to get back to business. For example, could you share offices with another company if you could not use your current location for a time?
Consider short term contingency. If it is going to take time to fix your systems, how will you cope in the meantime? Can you work manually?
As soon as you’ve put a business recovery plan together, examine it. See how your communications work in training, and the length of time it takes you to get working.
You may want to consider your business recovery program when negotiating with IT suppliers. By way of instance, you might want to pay your support company for a faster response time in case of significant systems failing.
Your backup system
Your continuity planning should incorporate a backup system, and that means you’ve got a secure copy of key data.
- How much information you will need to backup. Some backup options — like DVD backups — can replicate large amounts of data very fast.
- How often you must back up. It is a fantastic idea to decide on an automated backup system when you must take a new backup every day.
- Just how long will you want to keep your copies. Do you need to keep information for several weeks, months, or even longer?
- Where your data is stored. It is easier to back up a central file store compared to documents stored on plenty of different computers.
- Facilities and equipment. You also need a means to get into your copies. Ensure contingency systems are compatible with your files.
Whichever backup system you choose, it is important to keep copies in a different location to the most important copy of this data. Test your copies regularly — many businesses neglect this measure, only to discover their copies are useless when they have a real catastrophe.
It is increasingly common for organizations to utilize cloud backup, rather than creating backup copies of their data locally. This sees your business pay a fee each month for a service that backs your data up over the net.
Are you confident in your current storage environment?
Today’s data storage options offer different capabilities that meet different business needs. We can help evaluate your landscape and provide the expertise you need to make the right decisions for your organization. Contact us today to find out how working with us can benefit your company.