PUTTING DATA FRONT AND CENTRE

Editorial Type: Opinion Date: 10-2020 Views: 750 Tags: Storage, Management, SMBs, Disaster Recovery, Research, Storagecraft PDF Version:
Getting closer to their data is vital for SMB owners in an increasingly digital economy, argues Florian Malecki, International Product Marketing Senior Director at StorageCraft

Many company owners have not yet grasped the fact that data is now the single most valuable asset of their business. What these owners don't understand is that, in many ways, data is the new currency - and that the monetisation of information is potentially more valuable than their traditional products and services.

Take, for example, casino operator Caesars Entertainment. When the company filed for bankruptcy several years ago, it was not the physical assets Caesars owned that were deemed most valuable: it was its data - specifically, its customer loyalty programme, which was assessed to be worth $1 billion.

Too often, business owners think of data as something inextricable with technology. This is a mistake, especially in today's world. As organisations accumulate increasing amounts of data, and as this data becomes increasingly valuable, it is the companies that appreciate the significance of data and manage it effectively that will prosper in the years ahead.


"Unfortunately, many SMBs still rely on the same outdated data management technologies they used decades ago. This will cripple them as they try to make progress in the digital era. What SMBs need is a system that will manage data effectively, and quickly recover it in case of a system outage. Any responsible business leader who is focused on the strategic direction of the company must get intimately involved in data recovery."
THE VALUE OF DATA AND RECOVERY
One may think companies would realise the urgency of managing and monetising the data they collect, but most don't. Over 69% of all business owners are not adequately aware of or appropriately concerned about the business impact of data growth, according to a study by Dimensional Research.

Data accumulation remains a severe issue. A typical business now manages 100 times more data than it did 20 years ago. Even SMBs have rapidly gone from managing gigabytes of data to petabytes, which poses challenges around data management and organisation.

Unfortunately, many SMBs still rely on the same outdated data management technologies they used decades ago. This will cripple them as they try to make progress in the digital era. What SMBs need is a system that will manage data effectively, and quickly recover it in case of a system outage. Any responsible business leader who is focused on the strategic direction of the company must get intimately involved in data recovery.

However, according to that same Dimensional Research survey, an astounding 64% of business leaders are either unaware of or uninterested in data recovery. In today's world, that's like saying you don't know or care how your business makes money, as long as the money is there when you want it. It's not a successful strategy for building a thriving business in the digital era.

TESTING, TESTING
Business leaders need to know if their business can survive a data outage and quickly recover. Regular testing of backup systems is critical to provide assurance for this. Despite its importance, testing is not viewed a priority at many businesses. This is a mistake.

A solid backup plan is critical for business continuity, and testing is the only way to ensure mission critical data is safe. Organisations should make a habit of periodically testing backup copies to ensure data can be reliably restored.

As the proliferation of data continues, business owners need to take more responsibility and have a greater awareness of the volume, composition, and business value of their data. After all, awareness is the first step in using data to their advantage, while also keeping it safe and secure.

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE
Modern storage technology can give business owners the ability to understand and access their data easily and quickly recover it in the event of a system outage. What's more, these new storage management solutions are cost-effective and can be implemented and run by non-technical employees.

Exploding data volumes, limited storage capacity, and the escalating cost of downtime are among the most pressing challenges faced by SMBs today. Businesses can rise to these challenges by getting closer to their data and more involved in solutions for its management and recovery. This will enable them to maximise the value of their data and ultimately flourish in the digital economy.

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