By Rob Garbutt, CEO at LDeX Group.
Data is being created, collected and stored at a faster rate than ever before. In fact, more data has been created in the last two years than in the history of humankind – and there are no signs that this growth will slow any time soon.
It has become central to the day-to-day operations of businesses, whether it’s used to understand and analyse a market, communicate with customers in a more personalised and targeted way, or track sales and trade. In an increasingly connected world, digital interactions, both internally and between businesses and their customers, are shaped by data.
Data analytics, data scientists and ‘big data’ have become more than buzzwords, and are now serious areas of investment for businesses. A survey conducted last year by Gartner found that 75% of companies are investing or planning to invest in big data in the next two years. The rush to gather, organise and analyse data means that companies are handling and storing an increasing amount of business-critical data.
There has also been an increase in the popularity of flexible subscription-based services such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) to help businesses cut costs and save space. These applications will often store data that is also critical to the day-to-day functioning of the subscriber.
Therefore, while businesses are prioritising the collection and collation of data as quickly as possible, and turning to subscription-based services to cut costs, it’s important that they think about the security of both their data. Fires, natural disasters, cyber attacks and supplier bankruptcy can all lead to the destruction of business-critical data, whether they happen at the end of the software provider or the subscriber. Businesses therefore need to be sure that they can still access important data if anything goes wrong.
Data should therefore be backed up regularly. If it’s lost, it could bring a company to a stand-still. It could also affect reputation, drive up costs, and even lead to fines from regulatory bodies. Outsourcing backup services is an effective and convenient way to automate the process of keeping data safe.
As well as SaaS and IaaS, businesses should look to the rising popularity of subscription-based services when storing their data, as this can provide a number of benefits. New backup methods, such as Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS), can be easily expanded whenever needed, meaning that these solutions can grow with business storage needs. Cloud-based solutions are often much cheaper than legacy storage since they remove the need for expensive hardware. BaaS solutions also offer companies piece of mind that their data is being backed up on a regular basis, meaning there will always be a recent copy to refer back to.
Backing up data in a way that is scalable and cost-effective is a new way to meet data-driven business needs. Although many firms have outgrown legacy storage systems and now hope to adopt flexible, virtualized solutions, backups and data security should remain a priority. Now that data has become so critical, businesses need to plan accordingly to ensure that they are still able to function if for some reason this data is lost.