Virtual storage has replaced the traditional office filing cabinet. The good news? You don’t have to fight for space in your office just to expand your storage. The bad news? You still need to pay for storage – even if it’s digital space.
At some point, every small business needs more data storage for documents, emails, presentations, audio files, spreadsheets and other files needed to run the business. But how do you find the right data storage solution?
Why Data Storage is Important
Why do small businesses need so much storage?
Many small businesses are expanding their storage space for legal reasons. Some archive all email messages dating back five years or more. Any documents or messages that may help protect a small business from liability or legal claims should be stored for as long as necessary.
Some government regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, also require businesses to keep and maintain a back-up of data that may otherwise have been deleted.
The ongoing threat of spyware and viruses also make it even more important to have data back-ups – and back-ups of those back-ups.
New iterations of software require more storage space. And large media files, like video, take up more space than ever before.
Finding the Right Storage Solution for Your Business
First and foremost, you need to determine your storage needs.
- How quickly do you need to be able to access the data?
- From which locations will you need to access the data?
- How old is the data?
- How much data is outdated or duplicate?
- Which applications use the most data?
Once you have a better understanding of your storage needs, you can consider your options.
More small businesses are moving towards cloud storage simply because it’s affordable and convenient.
Data that’s stored on the cloud can be accessed at any time and from just about anywhere. Expanding storage is easy, and you don’t have to worry about buying equipment.
Along with cloud storage, some businesses are also considering blockchain technology for their storage needs.
Website Hosting makes a good point about blockchain and its potential for data storage in a recent blog post: “In a blockchain, there is no need for the trusted third-party. When two people exchange values, it gets recorded digitally on the ledger using a distributed network. The records on this ledger are immutable. It means nobody can come back and manipulate the ledger entry. So two people don’t need the third person to keep track of their exchange. It is called trustless transactions.”
External Hard Drive
A simple and relatively inexpensive way to expand your company’s storage. External hard drives can be connected directly to your computer for easy access.
The downside? You’ll need to bring the drive with you if you travel and need access to the data. And if there happens to be a fire at the office, you might lose all of your data.
Thumb drives don’t offer an immense amount of storage, but they’re easy to take on the go and ideal for mobile professionals. They’re lightweight and can store a decent amount of information.
Thumb drives and external drives offer extra security. There’s less of a concern of someone hacking into these physical drives. While online storage offers convenience, there’s always a risk that someone will be able to access and steal your data.