Companies that thrive over the next few years will be the ones harnessing the power of data, yet most companies only analyze 12 percent of the data they have. With data so critical to business success, organizations should think less about data storage and more about data intelligence.
Here are four actions your IT team should take if you want your data storage strategy to adapt to the needs of the modern business.
Ensure Accessibility Without Sacrificing Security
The always-on business requires employees to access their files anywhere, anytime, and from any device. If your organization’s storage strategy doesn’t include BYOD policies, remote access, and other mobility essentials, it’s time to step up your game. But there’s a catch. The more widespread and accessible data is, the more likely it is to fall into the wrong hands.
Experts recommend not only understanding where your data lives, but also its classification. Not all data is the same. You should create the proper controls and policies for hyper-sensitive data. Client information, healthcare data, trade secrets, and intellectual property should get the extra protection they need. Your approach should include understanding who can access which data, what gets encrypted, how it’s backed up, and more.
Also, consider that regulations like the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) require you to treat certain types of sensitive information with more care. Non-compliance can lead to hefty fines. If your current storage strategies aren’t taking into account the specific needs of various data types, it’s time to change that.
Provide Manageability and Scalability
With different types of data, different methods of access, and constant data growth, an organization’s IT team shoulders a huge challenge managing an effective storage infrastructure. Whatever solutions you use must be efficient, cost effective, and scalable. That’s why many storage experts are looking to hyper-converged infrastructure systems (HCI). They help streamline and simplify storage management. When HCI blends compute power, networking technologies, storage, and virtualization into one easy-to-manage, easy-to-scale system, it’s easy to see why the HCI market is set to be worth $17.1 billion by 2023.
A software-defined storage system piles on benefits like better storage provisioning through plug-and-play hardware and built-in data protection and backups. With HCI, IT professionals can more easily manage multiple sites and treat hardware as one huge, easy-to-allocate storage pool. Your next-gen storage infrastructure needs HCI if you want to keep up with huge demands and keep costs down.
Keep Data Recoverable
Downtime can be expensive no matter the cause. An effective data strategy goes beyond where you store data. It must include strategies for backing it up and ensuring it’s easy and quick to recover in the event of a disaster, hardware failure, or user error. A disaster recovery plan ensures that data and the associated systems are accessible after minimal downtime. These days, cloud-based disaster recovery and virtualization are essential parts of a DR arsenal. Together, they can help you ensure that the business never suffers more downtime than it can tolerate.
Farm Insights from Data
Most companies constantly create new data, but few are equipped to turn company-wide data into solid business intelligence. Enable your business to unlock the insights in the information it has by leveraging tools that can aid decision-making based on market trends, forecasts, the competitive landscape, and so on.
The data analytics revolution requires us to think far beyond the basics of storage. Today’s storage strategies are about making data fluid, informative, and safe. We must also consider the ways AI and machine learning can turn raw data into the pioneering new ideas of tomorrow. It all starts with taking a hard look at the relationship your company has with data management and the vision you can build for the future.