What are the biggest data storage challenges currently facing businesses?
These include the increased amount of data entering their systems, data complexity and diversity, and problems related to cost, infrastructure, security and connectivity.
This question is on the agenda for most organisations today. Here are some of the biggest data storage issues facing businesses today:
Most organisations face the dilemma of an increased amount of data entering their systems from various sources. Data needs to be stored in a specific way that will make it easier to be reached at a later stage. If done incorrectly, it will add time and money to address, and organisations may lose their competitive edge.
Most organisations are geared for structured data, and systems are set up in that way. Think of the current databases where data and information are stored. It is set up in the more traditional way for structured data. However, when looking at the amount of data that enters organisations, up to 80% of this data is unstructured. This adds a lot of complexity to manage and maintain.
The issue at hand here is the unstructured data and the velocity at which it is created. Take YouTube, for instance: 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute of the day. In the world of e-commerce, data is generated at a rapid pace. This is not related to just the purchase, but also to how customers use information for their own research in making choices about what they buy and when.
Over and above these issues, there are still the problems related to cost, infrastructure, security and connectivity. Most customers are not yet ready to consider cloud data storage as a solution to their current on-premises data storage issues. It is a case of currently adding more hardware when, in fact, the problem may not be solved with more hardware, but through a different way of looking at the problem for possible solutions.
How do we look differently at the issue of data storage? Let’s start at the most basic layer: the infrastructure. Data needs to be stored somewhere. Most organisations store their data on SANs (Storage Area Networks). This means organisations need to have skilled IT engineers that can manage the network (LAN and WAN), the SANs, servers connected to the SANs and data centres to store all this infrastructure. The cost here can spiral out of control. One of the easiest workarounds here is to use cloud storage, where organisations take advantage of the cloud provider’s infrastructure to save them the trouble of having to set all this up.
A major headache for organisations, when it comes to data storage, is security. Without the right controls, policies and software to maintain data security, organisations are open to hacks and unauthorised access to data.
In a world where everything is connected to everything, it makes securing data an expensive exercise. Data at rest must be encrypted. Once again, it can’t be stressed enough: organisations are going to have to have tight control of their data and, in some cases, will need to go the extra mile to make sure that their vendors and staff are adhering to the security policies and standards.