CMI Blog

Data Storage for SMEs: What you need to know


According to a 2017 Fujitsu study among senior finance professionals in small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) data storage requirements are predicted to double over the next four years.

The study also revealed that this rapid data growth is a huge concern for 76% of businesses that fear it will lead to escalating data storage and management costs.

SMEs create a lot of data and need a robust solution to store it. 

Data storage requirements can be broadly categorised into three areas:

  1. Data that doesn’t need to be easily available e.g. data needed for compliance reasons
  2. Data stored for backup and disaster recovery, to bring a business back from downtime or serious events
  3. Data that is easily accessible for daily computing, database and application needs.

In your constant search for faster, bigger and cheaper IT solutions, a coherent data storage strategy is essential.

The key question for most CTOs and IT managers is: Should data be stored locally or remotely?

Here’s a quick overview on local data storage and remote data storage:

Local data storage

Many SMEs rely on external hard drives or more sophisticated Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices for local data storage and backup solutions. These solutions provide fast and cost effective storage.  In the event of an outage or loss of data, simple data restoration from a previous backup can enable the user to continue working seamlessly.

However, there are common risks associated with this method, such as a hard drive crash or a serious spyware or virus infection; your locally stored data is only as safe as the building it's in.  In the case of fire, burglary or flooding you could lose all of it.  Local data storage solutions are also limited by:

  • An inability to add capacity quickly as demand increases
  • Risk of equipment prematurely becoming obsolete
  • A reliance on skilled IT staff

With the right Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity solution however, companies have the means to not only recover data from broken hardware, but also make sure their equipment is best in class and readily scalable.

Remote Data Storage

Remote data storage in the cloud is becoming increasingly popular to businesses of all sizes.   Cloud backup and file sharing allows users to access files and documents from multiple devices at any time, from anywhere, greatly improving a business’s capability to share and protect their company's data. Cloud backup also removes the need to manage on-site technology resources. 

Moving data to the cloud does bring its own set of concerns.  Can you trust cloud services to keep your data private when it is offsite, on servers you don’t own or fully control?  This is where a trusted IT partner can evaluate the most secure tools and software for you, to provide peace of mind, and also build flexible IT solutions to help you retain control.

So which solution is best for you?

Every company is different and there is no golden rule when it comes to data storage solutions. Many businesses take the holistic approach of storing data locally and also storing an exact copy of that data in the cloud. The right IT partner can explore the best options for your specific business needs. Contact me to get that conversation started.


About BTA

We take care of your IT, so you can focus on running your business. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive outsourced IT support service or something more flexible, BTA can help. As industry-leading specialists in network security, business continuity, hardware and software provision, cloud computing and Internet services, BTA has been helping businesses gain a competitive edge through technology for more than 20 years.  Call today on 020 8875 7676 to learn more and sign up for a free consultation.

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Darron Millar

Darron Millar is Technical Director at BTA Limited. With 20 years of experience in the IT services industry, his areas of expertise include SME IT Consultancy, Cyber Security, and Project Management. Passionate about IT, Darron is dedicated to being a trusted advisor to clients who wish to leverage technology to enhance and support their business.