Blog
 

A small business guide to data storage

A small business guide to data storage
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
 

Posted: Wed 27th Apr 2016

You probably create, receive and share digital content that is critical to the success of your business. Yet despite it being critical for many small businesses, data storage is often low on the list of priorities. Jörg Andreas, technical product manager and small business storage expert at Western Digital, explains why it shouldn't be.

Western Digital is a supporter of Enterprise Nation's four digital business bootcamps in Sheffield, Nottingham, London and Birmingham in May, June and July. Find out more and book your place here.

Whether you run an artisan bakery or a web design agency, there's a high likelihood that you create, receive and share electronic information that is critical to the success of your business. Yet despite it being an important issue for many small businesses, data storage is often low on the list of priorities.

To ensure you have a robust and reliable storage and back-up process that can grow with your business, here are our top data storage tips for SMEs.

1. Always have a backup: Laptops get stolen or broken, data gets accidentally deleted, viruses infect your system and hard drives sometimes fail. Don't think it will never happen to you. As a minimum, always back up to a device that you store at a location separate to where your primary data is held.

If you know you're going to create an awful lot of data then you should probably look at a network attached storage (NAS) product from the off. It'll provide ample storage that can grow with your business as well as enable useful networking functionality such as file sharing and remote access.

2. Consider the personal cloud: You're probably already using some sort of cloud-based storage or file transfer system such as Google Drive or Dropbox. These are a great way to keep important files accessible but remember, prices can rise sharply once your free allocation is used up and if you don't keep up the payments, accounts can be locked or even deleted. If you sell internationally, you may even be precluded from using some of these services in customer contracts.

Personal cloud products offer all the benefits of cloud storage with far fewer risks. You simply attach to your home or office router, download an app, then share, sync and save data anywhere in the world from any device including smartphones and tablets. Crucially, you own the hardware your data is stored on and there's only a one-off payment rather than a monthly or yearly subscription.

3. Prioritise your data: Large firms look at data in tiers, using cheaper storage options to archive less critical and/or less frequently accessed information and you can use this trick too. Do a data audit and make sure you're not paying money - on a cloud subscription for example - for personal photos or files that are seldom accessed. Unless you really need immediate access to them, they should be backed-up to a separate drive saving you money and freeing up valuable space

4. Buy for your future storage needs: If you can, budget for what capacity and performance you'll need in the future rather than what you need now. A RAID (redundant array of independent disks) configured NAS drive may seem like overkill at the moment, but you're probably already creating and managing more data than you think you are, and the enhanced performance, speed, backup and smooth networking functionality of these solutions will prove invaluable as your business grows.

Like insurance, data storage is not something many people think about until they actually need it, but with a little bit of planning, you can save yourself valuable time and money and make sure your storage solutions are supporting the growth of your business.

To help Enterprise Nation members with their storage systems, WD is offering a 10% discount on all external hard drives, a 5% discount on all NAS systems and Apple products and a 15% discount off all WD Red hard drive retail kits (the drives that go into NAS systems). Simply go to the WD Store and use the code WDSmallBiz (the discount code is limited to one use per customer and two products per order).

Western Digital is a supporter of Enterprise Nation's four digital business bootcamps in Sheffield, Nottingham, London and Birmingham in May, June and July. Find out more and book your place here.

Related article: How to save money and be more efficient with digital storage

 
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
 
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.
 

You might also like…

Start your business journey today

Take the first step to successfully starting and growing your business.