Top Data Storage Challenges for the SMB

Graham Paterson, Senior Vice President, EMEA for Tandberg Data

Based on market trends, input from market leaders and many of our own customers, here are some challenges that small businesses will continue to face in the next few years.

  1. SMBs will create much more data over the next year than they have today. It's not uncommon to see an SMB grow his/her data sets by 200% or more in one year (one customer even reported 800% growth). This is not surprising, given the SMB's growing reliance on e-mail, shared files, critical application data, and the need to digitize/store prior "paper" records or documents, not to mention the increasing use of large video and image files, which are all readily available via the internet. Now, add mountains of governmental compliance rules and regulations to this mix, and most SMBs find that they face a significant and growing data storage challenge.
  2. SMBs will continue to struggle with how best to manage, store, protect and rapidly retrieve their growing data repositories. Surveys often report SMB frustration with the cost and complexity of data protection and storage. They want low-cost, flexible options for backup, storage and archiving that also deliver fast retrieval of their data, when needed. According to recent industry surveys, over 80% of small and medium-sized businesses want to accelerate backup/restore times and keep a copy of their backup data at a remote site.
  3. SMBs will continue to have limited IT staff and constrained IT spending budgets. The world economy continues to put enormous pressure on small businesses to accomplish more with less. SMBs will continue to wrestle with budget constraints while managing an ever-expanding amount of digital data.
  4. Many SMBs will continue to neglect comprehensive data protection strategies for their critical data (even though they know better). For many SMBs, updating their backup processes to ensure they are continuously covered can still take a back seat in their priorities. This issue continues to be an SMB challenge, even though most SMBs never fully recover financially from serious data loss.
  5. SMBs will continue to look for turn-key solutions that they can "set-and-forget," especially when it comes to data protection and disaster recovery. There's a lot of flash and sizzle in the market today. Still, it pays to keep the basics in mind when looking for a data protection strategy.

I’ll write more next week about the key pillars of data protection and some pitfalls to avoid.

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