What Are The Benefits Of Data Centralisation?
Do you remember the days of over-stacked filing cabinets and physical libraries stuffed with reams and reams of paperwork? I do – though perhaps that gives a little too much away about my age. Thankfully, though, those have gone (along with most of my hair!).
Now, all of a company’s data is stored on pieces of computerised hardware, either somewhere in the bowel-like depths of the office building, or otherwise in large data centres as provided by cloud services.
All in all, I think we can agree, that this is a much better system. Files can be searched for extremely easily by logging on to the appropriate database, and then retrieved with a simple click of a button – it’s simply magic. With so much data now flying around the web waves all over the world, the act of physical archiving is simply no longer viable, not to mention cost effective or productive.
However, storing data on computers, hard drives and servers is not completely risk-free. In fact, it comes with its own very unique set of problems that administrators of yesteryear, fumbling around through dusty vaults and libraries, could not have possibly conceived of. Indeed, computerised data storage is more of a concern for the IT team than anybody else.
Data Loss – An Ongoing Concern For Businesses
I could make a very safe wager that says that your business will rely heavily on computers. Am I right? It’s just the way of the world these days – blessings, warts and all. And I could make another – with the whole of your business essentially stored invisibly away on servers and other pieces of computer hardware – I’d bet that you will naturally be concerned about data loss. Of course you are, for you’d be foolish to be nonchalant about such a vulnerable archive of information.
And the risk is real – whether it’s down to hardware failure, theft, human error, a computer virus or cyber attack, data loss is serious business, and can be extremely costly for the unprepared.
DeepSpar cites that “hard drive failure is the most common cause of data loss” and in fact accounts for as much as 38% of these scenarios. The result of such a failure can prove to be detrimental to your business. Client information, credit card details, financial reports or even whole systems can be lost, and once it’s gone, retrieving it can make or break your company.
Data Centralisation To The Rescue!
I am not simply scaremongering here. Data loss is an utmost concern of any business professional – it’s certainly one of mine. But, as with almost every problem that is likely to be encountered, prevention is invariably better than cure.
Modern day businesses have to manage a high volume of scattered data around the web, which is constructed using many different formats by many different people. IDC puts the issue like this:
“Too much digital information creates the problem of organising it in a way that makes it useful. Many businesses have more digital data than they can intelligently work with and often can’t extract what they need when they need it or create business intelligence from it.”
Indeed, lack of organisation not only causes a problem of utilising the data, but it also creates a labyrinth in which that data is likely to get lost – just like those physical files in the archives and library shelves of the past (when I had a little more hair and not so much forehead *sigh*).
What to do?
Enforcing a centralised data management system is key to combatting this issue. When data is stored securely with documentation, access authorisation can be administered so that it cannot be accessed without the necessary privileges through a tightly controlled process – which is just fancy talk for ensuring that no unauthorised nasties infiltrate your network and steal or destroy all of your data.
Furthermore, centralised data repositories can be backed up on a regular basis, meaning that in the event of a disaster, recovery is a quick and painless one-time job.
So there we go – as data volume continues to increase exponentially, the need for centralised storage will become ever more prevalent, and businesses will do well to prepare for this and start taking action now. Much like the hair falling from my balding scalp, once data is lost, it doesn’t grow back.