Properly storing your data is a key part of protecting your business. Every day, companies rely on information to get the job done, producing items in the form of graphics, spreadsheets, presentations, e-mails and more. Additionally, government regulations are now requiring organizations to maintain certain pieces of data that may have otherwise been deleted.
No matter what size business you own, professional data storage is almost always a necessity. Once you have made the wise decision to utilize a data storage company, you may be tempted to thing of the information as an “out of sight, out of mind” thing. And if you are working with the right data partner, you can rest assured that your information is safe and secure.
However, there are a number of truths surrounding your information that you should know. Here are seven things about data storage that could eventually affect your business.
- It’s hard to keep up with the boom
Data is now measured in zettabytes. One zettabyte is the equivalent of 1,000 exabytes or 1 trillion gigabytes. By the year 2020, the Computer Sciences Corporation estimates that there will be 35 zettabytes of information circulating. The agency states that the explosion of information is largely due to the fact that businesses are switching from analog to digital technology.
Corporations are not alone in driving this growth, however, as individuals have taken on a substantial portion of creating and storing information. Users are regularly producing photos and videos and utilizing social media accounts, causing the amount of data to grow by leaps and bounds.
The big boom has caused unstructured growth among data companies, which are trying extremely hard to keep pace. While the industry may not come out and say it, you can be sure that the storage company you use is constantly thinking of ways to accommodate more information.
- We are constantly backing up information, but we aren’t always sure when it will be needed.
Most data storage facilities are backing up information every night. The backups then sit somewhere offsite, where they are often left untouched. However, that information cannot be destroyed because it’s always possible that someone will need to access it. Sometimes, it can feel like they are preparing for a big event that may never happen.
- Your data is here … somewhere
Consider that a data storage company is responsible for more gigabytes than you could ever imagine. Additionally, information that needs to be stored is growing by as much as 60 percent every year. According to the Computer Sciences Corporation, annual data information will grow by as much as 4300 percent by the year 2020.
So if you ask someone where exactly your information is, don’t be surprised if they aren’t sure if it is located in offsite storage or in a data center. And further, if you find you need something quickly, be sure to give the company enough lead time to produce it. Depending on how old the information is, it could take weeks to locate it.
- It’s not easy to access our backups.
Think about how quickly technology evolves. Even cellphones come out with new designs, models and upgrades every few months. Certain applications are updated even more often. Translate that kind of change into the data world, and you are looking at an industry where software is constantly upgraded, switched over and then discarded. Therefore, if you need to access something on a tape from 10 years ago, it may take some time to find, and then someone is going to have to locate the right program to open it because the software is almost certainly extinct.
- We prefer to add more storage than sort through old files.
Could you imagine having to go through millions and millions of files to determine if they could be kept or deleted? Sure, it may be better in the long run to trash old data, but to better keep pace with ever-expanding storage needs, businesses simply add more room instead. People in information technology are keenly aware of the programs that could help users identify which files can be trashed, but explaining those programs is often more of a bother than a help because it is so time-consuming.
- Brace yourself, because costs could rise
Data storage companies need to take into account all the information you have archived, everything you are currently producing and everything you might create. Based on projections for companies to generate more and more data, it’s likely that you will see an increase in charges. It can be difficult to estimate exactly how much space a business will need in the long term, but typically, people are producing more, and not less.
- Communication issues are a problem.
Thanks to increased federal regulations, there are legal requirements for what must be stored and retrievable. If data companies had a better picture of which files are important and which can be deleted, we could conceivably cut our storage significantly. However, the legal resources available do not always understand that finding those files can take an extremely long time, and most of the time, associates would rather not deal with the issue and just add more storage.
The team that is in place at Titan Power understands the challenges facing the data storage industry. We are constantly creating innovative ways to plan, design and engineer your data storage center. For companies who are weighing their risks and want to get a better look at the bigger picture, understanding these truths is a good place to start.