Back that data up! Deciding which data storage solution is right for your business

Every small business, regardless of what industry it belongs to, deals with data — lots of it. This is everything from sensitive customer information to emails, art/creative files and so much more.

This data needs a home, and all essential data needs to be properly backed up so that a cybersecurity breach or other IT issue doesn’t wipe it away for good. Data storage and back-up is a very important issue when discussing IT infrastructure for businesses of any size and industry.

Today, we’re going to go take a quick dive into the available storage solutions and highlight which might be best for your business.


Cloud storage

This method of storage and back-up is exploding in popularity because it allows businesses to store information safely off premises — and to do so with relative ease. The vendor handles the installation, management and maintenance. Also, you will only pay for the space that you’re actually using, which makes it a very cost-efficient, scalable solution.

In regard to accessibility, collaboration and simplicity, Cloud storage is a winner. Security is one point of concern, however.

Don’t be confused — Cloud storage does come with a very low likelihood of a cybersecurity breach, but the risk does exist. This means that businesses that deal with highly sensitive information (i.e. medical clinics, financial institutions, law firms, etc.) may not be able to take advantage of Cloud storage while staying in compliance with industry regulations.


Network attached storage

Creating a dedicated server for your data is the ideal way to provide full protection while giving your team the access it needs. Network attached storage (NAS) has its own IP address, providing for your security needs.

Additionally, NAS also provides data redundancy, which means that you can always trust that your data is safely backed up and recoverable when needed. This is essentially the Cadillac of data storage solutions, but let’s pick through a few of the downsides.

For starters, NAS is an investment. Your business will need to make a significant investment to bring this solution to your business, instead of paying as you go. NAS does have some scalability — you can add capacity — but you’re mostly limited to its capabilities.

Plus, this physical piece of equipment will require significant space in your office, something you don’t even have to think about with Cloud storage.


External hard drives

On a smaller scale, you can back up multiple computers onto an external hard drive, and in some cases, even a flashdrive. The simplicity and economic nature of this solution are the key selling points. Its plug-and-play format allows anyone to safely back up troves of data easily.

However, you will need to update your backups frequently to keep the external hard drive fully updated. And, external hard drives and flash drives are small in size, making them prone to theft or being misplaced.

Most businesses don’t necessarily stick with just one of these solutions — they blend them together for a comprehensive data storage strategy. Connect with a qualified IT professional, if you don’t have one in your own office, and gain insight on which might be best for your business.