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SMB management: tips for taking the best care of your growing data volume

Data storage is an important issue to any business, but it is especially important to growing companies. If your business is like most, you probably have scads of data that needs to be stored and protected.

Many small businesses either ignore or do not take into account the fact that, as you grow, you will need to update your data storage options. Fortunately, there are several options out there that can help your business get to the next level. If you’re looking to upgrade your data storage, think about these points first and you should have no problem finding the secure space you need.

Identify Your Needs

Having a lot of storage space is just a basic need for businesses today: you have client lists, accounting data, personnel files, product information…there is a never-ending list of data that you are responsible for. Because of this, you need to think about is how much space — and what kind of backups — your company needs.

There is really no one-size-fits-all solution to data storage. Depending on what business you are in, you will need to address different issues accordingly. If you have sensitive data, then you will want to find the most secure storage you can to prevent hacks. If your company handles a lot of video and audio footage, then you will need as much space as you can afford to store the large files. If your small, then maybe you just need a little extra storage to help.

While you can always upgrade or change your data storage situation, it’s best to think long-term when deciding on your needs. This way, you won’t get caught unprepared three years down the road when your companies grows larger.

Ditch the Traditional Storage

Traditional storage options are quickly going by the wayside; they are outmoded, outdated and unreliable. Tape backups and disk backups are still options, but as a growing business in the 21st century, you should only consider these as a last resort.

Tape backups require large rolls of data tape and a physical storage unit to house them in. They are typically used once per day to create a backup of all of that day’s data, and then changed out for the following day. This can cause problems, as many times no one remembers to check the tape to make sure it’s working properly or they forget to change the tape.

Disk backups are a little more reliable, but there are still issues. Again, you will need physical space to store them and since they are connected to your network, they are particularly vulnerable to viruses and malware. And, unless you take them to an off-site facility yourself, they will do you no good in the event of an emergency like a fire or earthquake.

Move to the Cloud

Rather than using the outdated, traditional methods of data storage, take advantage of one of the best storage solutions of this century: the cloud.

Using the cloud offers two-fold protection. One, your data will be constantly and consistently backed up and, two, it is naturally off-site so if your network goes down or there is an emergency, you can recover your data quickly and easily. Your data will also be accessible with any device you like from anywhere. And, because all of the servers and IT are owned by the company you choose, cloud storage can save your business money because you will not have to purchase equipment or a physical storage space.

Companies like ATB Technologies can help you learn more about cloud storage.

Get Rid of Redundant Data

Perhaps the quickest way to solve many of your data is to figure out which data is expendable. When you are upgrading your storage options, it is a great time to suss through all of your data and delete the things that are irrelevant, redundant or just plain unimportant.

This is a good practice to use all of the time. You do not want to use the wrong data for, say, a customer’s account information, as this can lead to mistakes and customer distrust, costing you money. If this happens often enough, it can develop into a real problem that you may not be able to save your company from. Deleted unnecessary or unneeded data not only lessens the storage space you will need, but it will keep your business up to date.

Before upgrading your data storage plans, think about these tips.

About the author

Ryan Richardson writes about tech for small / medium business owners, his articles appearing on several business blogs. He works in the IT field, covering many roles over the years, and enjoys sharing his geeky knowledge!

Ryan Richardson

Ryan Richardson

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