how_storage_modernization_can_address_your_businessAll businesses want (and need) to grow if they are to be successful in the long term. The problem, of course, is that as you grow, you need to scale your operations, and that can be an expensive proposition. More business than one has failed simply because they could not properly manage the costs of growth properly.

IT is no exception. It’s not somehow exempt from the equation. Data processing and storage can be ferociously expensive, and it can kill a growing business. Invest too little and you won’t scale your IT infrastructure fast enough to keep pace with your expansion, causing you to crash and burn.

Invest too much too quickly and you’ll burn through your cash reserves and crash in another fashion. It’s a balancing act. You’ve got to become adept at walking that fine line. Fortunately, at least where data storage is concerned, it’s a relatively easier proposition to control costs.

One of the biggest changes to storage has been the emergence of the cloud. In the old days of IT, if you wanted to expand your storage capacity you had to buy more drive space and install it at your business location. Of course, simply buying a big hard drive wasn’t enough – you needed to build in redundancy so you had to buy multiple drives and have them all backing each other up in real time, which of course, required more server power, in addition to the drives themselves. In a word, it was relatively expensive, and the more you wanted to scale your storage capacity, the more expensive it got.

These days, with high-bandwidth, low-latency connections readily available and a virtually unlimited pool of storage space on the cloud you can simply rent what you need from a third party vendor, paying as you go for incremental increases to storage as your needs change and expand.

This gives you, the business owner, the ultimate in flexibility. No more expensive hardware to buy and maintain. No creeping overhead costs that threaten to derail your expansion. It completely redraws that part of the landscape, and that works very much in your favor.

To be sure, there are still a number of potential pitfalls where expansion is concerned, but this is at least one area where you’ll find relatively smooth sailing.

Potential Risks

Having extolled the virtues of cloud based storage as the answer to your expanding storage needs, there are a few things you should be aware of.

The first and biggest of these is that you’ll want to ensure that your chosen cloud-based provider is more or less on the same page as you where data security is concerned. The reason for this is simply that as long as your data stays “in house” you’ve got complete control over it and its security. The moment you begin making use of a cloud-based provider though, you give up some of that autonomy. If your chosen provider doesn’t put the same or similar emphasis on data security as you do, then you’re setting yourself up for hardships down the road.

The second big concern you’ve got where cloud providers are concerned is the matter of data retention. No matter what provider you select, you want to have a clause built into it that spells out specifically what happens to your data when the contract ends. It gives you a measure of protection and peace of mind, knowing that your data will be permanently deleted after some specified number of days upon the ending of the contract or other conditions you may wish to specify.

Advances in cloud storage offer a quick and easy way for your business to expand in a cost-effective manner. It’s not without its potential pitfalls, but these can easily be overcome with proper planning.