Small and medium sized enterprises are experiencing a rapid increase in unstructured and structured data. SMEs are interested to find effective ways for data backup, easy access and data recovery, without investing a considerable amount of time and money. To manage data storage successfully, companies should understand the value of their data and reduce the cost that is spent for compliance risk, data loss and ineffective backup system.
Most of the businesses do not have an idea of their data and when it is required to be accessed. They assume that every and all types of data need to be retained, which is an expensive and time consuming process. Thus, SMEs must classify data for better protection. Moreover, value of data type should be established to understand the impact of data (loss) on the business.
Managing structured data held in databases, record systems, and spreadsheets is quite an easier task; however managing unstructured data (social media, voice, images and emails) can cause a lot of problems. It is estimated that 80% of organisations’ data is in fact unstructured data. Consequently, such unstructured data makes it difficult to search, utilise and manage – whether it relates to recovery tasks, search, access or compliance.
Small and medium sized companies need to create an IT policy in order to understand different data sources. This is based on classifying data through business unit, to create an insight into data location, type and nature. It will help in finding the relevant sources of data in centralised and consistent way. Better backup policies could be applied based on the acquired knowledge. For instance, a company does not need to make backup of all files if data is related to music files, photos and videos. Therefore, a new policy could be introduced to delete, exclude or move such data.
Data Management Policy
From operational and compliance perspectives, loss of data can cause serious damages. To avoid data loss, companies need to have a particular backup system that has the capability to copy all information on given network. Data management system must establish a checklist to verify whether the recently updated or transferred data is copied or not.
To make certain that restored data is accurate, companies can test the system on trial basis by restoring data from the backup sets. Besides, all the shares and drives need to be checked regularly.
SMEs should make sure that valuable backups are saved at a distant place, outside of the company’s building, using cloud backup solution. The procedure should be as easy as backing up on storage devices, which are transported to an offsite location or using automated cloud backup solution.
Store all data in the company network, making it easier for access. In case, data is saved in a local workstation, it cannot be accessed by others, as a result, the information could be lost if the computer crashes. To avoid the loss of information, ensure that protocol is being followed to save data in the network, using a system to allow read only access to users.
To apply cost-efficient storage solution, companies should transfer less frequently used and old data to lower cost network storage. Get rid of data that is not required or needed to be accessed. Besides, users should be trained to delete unrelated to company business, personal files, especially large media files should be removed from databases, mailboxes and emails.
By removing duplicate files and selecting current file versions, up to 30% of space could be saved. Apply the best technology and appropriate backup processes to fulfill storage requirements.