Implement 2013: the Ideal Data Backup and Cloud Trends
It’s likely you’ve heard phrases like “data is the new currency.” This is true, but more importantly data is how you and your small company make transactions with customers. It is important to almost every aspect of your small business, so the way you store it and back it up really matters.
There is no shortage of data storage options for you to choose from. For years, small and large businesses alike depended on tape-based and hard disk storage. In fact, many companies still do. But as data storage trends start to shape how we view and manage data, more businesses are migrating to cloud-based and/or virtual storage systems.
Let’s take a closer look at current data storage trends, and what you should look for in a data storage provider.
Small Business Data Storage Trends
Historically, SMBs have not been early adopters. They usually gravitate to tried and true methods for data storage that fit within their shoestring budget. However, in recent years localized storage has become clunky and inefficient.
Now, more than ever, SMBs are gravitating to larger, modern technologies like cloud computing and virtualization to manage their data storage and backups. Beyond the cloud, these same SMBs are looking to alternatives found in hard disk storage, solid-state disk (SSD) storage, hard disk/solid-state hybrid systems, and alternative storage methods like compression and data de-duplication.
An Ideal Data Storage Solution
For many SMBs the data storage and back up landscape seems overwhelming. Navigating the world of cloud storage providers, as well as a wide range of on-premise data solutions that are still available is nearly impossible if you’re not 100 percent sure what your data needs. The bottom line is that small businesses everywhere need to start by looking at the bigger picture.
This means it’s time to get serious about your data management strategy. This also entails mapping out your current , and often means being real about what’s not working in your current data strategy. From there you’ll be better poised to start considering what the best storage option for you.
Essential Cloud Storage Features
While we’ve mentioned all sorts of data storage options, most SMBs are gravitating toward the cloud. This is largely due to the fact that the cloud is more affordable than high-speed on-premise data storage solutions. Unfortunately, not all cloud providers are created equal. Some may not meet your needs, or they may be completely out of your price range. Let’s look at some essential cloud storage features that will help move your new data strategy forward.
- Storage efficiency: This seems like a no-brainer since this is at the core of every cloud-based data storage business. But some storage systems simply aren’t efficient. There are lags in performance. Servers go down regularly. Make sure you get what you are paying for in stability, performance and bandwidth.
- Responsive design: The cloud storage dashboard will scale seamlessly between laptops, desktops and mobile devices. Today’s small businesses are always on the go, and after all, one of the main advantages to cloud storage is that you can have access to your data from virtually anywhere in the world.
- Easy-to-use Dashboard: For many cloud storage and backup services, the service is only as good as its dashboard. Is it easy to navigate? Can you chat with other administrators in a group chat session? Is the dashboard secure? Can you understand the basic functions of the dashboard in a quick glance? These are all important questions to answer.
As you continue your search for the right cloud provider, get a feel for how reputable the cloud storage provider is and how easy they are to work with. Here are three essential questions you should ask every service provider:
- How can we download/upload files and folders?
- Is my data secure?
- Is your service easy to implement with my existing data?
By Walter Bailey
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