What are the 5 Most Common Data Storage Challenges for Businesses?
When one considers business assets, most think of physical objects such as real estate, equipment, vehicles, and machinery. But for many companies, data is their most valuable asset. Just take a moment to think about the critical role of data as it relates to business operations. An e-commerce platform’s operations would grind to a halt if they were suddenly unable to access their data related to customers, orders, inventory, and shipments.
For a large majority of companies, data dwells within the core of their business. Storing that data and maintaining its integrity in a safe and effective manner can be a tremendous challenge. In fact, there is no shortage of data storage challenges for businesses in all industries and sectors. But a bit of awareness can go a long way, with business leaders learning how to empower their tech professionals with the tools and resources they need to overcome data storage challenges.
Data Storage Challenge #1: Data Security
Data security is a very real concern for businesses both large and small. Cybercriminals, dishonest IT vendors and even bad actors within an organization have a solid understanding of how extremely valuable certain data sets can be. Client and customer data can be captured and sold without consent. Data related to business operations and even trade secrets holds a great deal of value to a competitor. Data may even be held “hostage” if a company’s data stores are hit by a cybercriminal with ransomware capabilities.
Unauthorized data access. Compromised cybersecurity measures. Data theft with a ransom demand. There is no shortage of threats facing a company’s data, but an organization can guard against many of these dangers with a well-architected data storage infrastructure, combined with the latest data security best practices.
Periodic reviews are the key to overcoming this data storage challenge. The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving and changing, therefore your security measures must evolve in pace.
Data Storage Challenge #2: Data Accessibility
Data accessibility is a very real and fairly common data storage challenge for businesses that rely upon this information to keep the wheels turning. Operation-critical data must be accessible at all times, even during a power outage, disaster or other adverse event. For this reason, companies should ensure that mission-critical backups are both available and accessible when the need arises.
Data accessibility is also a consideration from a security standpoint, particularly when it comes to third-party risk management. It is considered best practice to provide the minimum amount of access to the smallest number of people in order to protect data stores. Actually implementing this best practice can be challenging — especially at a large scale. A data systems expert can develop a very effective protocol that determines who can access a company’s data and precisely what type of data they can access.
Data Storage Challenge #3: Data Integrity
Data integrity is one of the most important considerations in the data management landscape. At the end of the day, if you cannot trust a data set and its integrity, that information becomes useless.
Data integrity can be impacted in many ways as it is transferred to and maintained in storage. For instance, data transfers and syncs may have an adverse impact on integrity. Partial and incomplete transfers. Duplicate data sets. Failed syncs and backups. There is no shortage of mishaps that can occur as data is moved into storage.
Data may be corrupted spontaneously and there is little that can be done to prevent this. But data corruptions can also occur as the direct result of an event too. Therefore, it is prudent to identify corruption threats and take action to minimize those risk factors.
Maintaining data integrity is essential. Take time to understand the threats to data integrity and develop a strategy to address those risk factors before your data stores are adversely impacted.
Data Storage Challenge #4: Scalability in Data Storage
As a company and its operations grow, so do their data storage needs. Data storage scalability is a very real concern for many businesses and many fail to really appreciate the problem until they hit a wall. One day, an alert pops on screen to indicate that storage is full. As a result, data transfers, syncs and backups will be paused until data is deleted or additional storage space is added.
For those with on-premise data storage infrastructure, scaling can be challenging because it requires the purchase and installation of new hardware, among other resources. This approach also tends to be quite inefficient since you must purchase and maintain storage space that far exceeds your current needs. This prompts many to opt for cloud data storage.
The cloud represents one of the most scalable data storage solutions. Cloud data storage is extremely scalable since resources are typically allocated on an as-needed basis. The cloud allows for rapid up-scaling or down-scaling, often on an automatic basis without the need for human intervention. Many companies are opting for cloud data storage thanks to its cost-effectiveness. Cloud services are typically billed on a pay-as-you-go or monthly subscription-type of basis and customers pay for only the resources they utilize — nothing more and nothing less. This is a far cry from alternatives such as on-premise data storage, whereby you must maintain sufficient storage space to accommodate future needs.
Data Storage Challenge #5: Industry-Specific and Regulatory Factors
There are numerous rules and regulations that affect data storage and data management in general. Some are industry specific, while others are more universal, but all of these regulations share one thing in common: they can represent a big data storage challenge.
The medical and healthcare space is one of the most heavily regulated in terms of data storage, data access, data collection, and data management. For example, HIPAA has strict guidelines surrounding how data is stored, who can view that data, and the circumstances for data access.
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) offers another example of a regulation impacting data storage. For instance, an organization’s data storage system must be auditable in order to prove compliance with a data deletion request stemming from “the right to be forgotten.”
By understanding the most common data storage challenges for businesses, company leaders will be better positioned to adopt a proactive stance. But success requires the right tech talent — resources with the skills and knowledge to evaluate your existing data storage situation and effect change when the need arises. That is where RiseIT™ can help. Our staffing experts pair the best and brightest tech talent with companies in a variety of business sectors and industries. Contact RiseIT™ today and let our talent acquisition team find the best data management experts for your business.