Today, people literally call the world as an entity which is controlled by the mastermind who is called “The Technology”. The reason for that is everything is simplified by the application of technology. As like that, there is no room to operate any kind of business without the help of technology. One of the best service of technology to a business is Data and Storage Management. According to Prasad (2018), Data and Storage Management can be defined as the process of maintaining the storage infrastructure of enterprises by managing the connectivity, security and availability of storage devices. Latest trends in Data and Storage Management are Cloud Computing, Big Data, Data Mining and Internet of Things (IoT).
SME or Small and Medium-sized enterprises are the most common business structure in the world. As explained by European Commission (2018) 99% of business entities in Europe are Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. This fact reveals that competition and growth of these enterprises are rapid. Therefore, good data and storage management is a key concern for their business continuity.
Why SME should use Data Storage Management
Databases and storage networks can be helpful to an SME in many ways to increase its productivity, efficiency, marketing and many other business processes. On the other hand, these techniques can help for the owners and leadership of the enterprises to get intelligent decisions by using advanced data analysis tools which are based on data management.
Accounting or bookkeeping is an essential part and a major legal requirement of business operations. A few decades earlier, corporates used only accounting books to record their transactions. This required a lot of human involvement and had to play a big role to protect the accuracy of the records. But the information systems revolutionized this mechanism. Automated computerized accounting systems like sage 50, QuickBooks introduced a way to go accounting digitally without using paperwork. Nowadays, accounting software doesn’t need to be installed on the PC. The reason for that is the introduction of Cloud accounting apps to enterprises as a SaaS (Software as a Service). There are many Cloud accounting apps on the internet and most of them are targeting SME. Some example of this kind of apps is Wave accounting, Zoho books, Freshbook etc. SMEs can use these apps by spending less than $10 per month and without any accounting skill. ACCA (2013) clearly mentioned that ease of usages, remote access, reduced upfront cost and efficiency as the main reasons to use cloud platform for accountancy. Figure 1 represents the advantages of using cloud accounting as an enterprise.
Above example is a perfect situation that reveals the influence of both data management (automated accounting systems) and storage management (cloud-based infrastructure) to SMEs. The main advantages of Data and storage management to modern SMEs can be sorted as below.
- Accuracy: Systematic calculations minimize the error of information.
- Scalability: Good storage management let the SME scale as it needs.
- Automation: Data processing can be automated, and it can reduce the time to carry out specific business operations’
- Reliability: Data backups and syncing and protect the integrity of enterprise information.
- Speed: Fast data transmission and collaboration with co-workers are possible with the usage of data and storage management service.
Even though there are many advantages for SMEs form data and storage management, there are some factors that every SME should concern to carry out data and storage management. Those factors will be discussed in the next section.
Challenges to Data and Storage Management
Alton (2018) has pointed out the seven main problems in data and storage management systems as below.
- Choosing infrastructure – The are many ways maintain a storage infrastructure. Such as maintaining servers in-house, purchasing shared hosting, purchasing dedicated hosting or purchasing cloud space. All these options are possible for SMEs, currently, the best choice of storage infrastructure is Cloud Hosting.
- Cost – Maintaining in-house won’t be the option of storage management for some businesses because of its cost. Therefore, the cost is a major fact to decide the storage management method.
- Security – The biggest issue in storage management is security. Even the devices are technically fully secured, there is a plenty of room to be a victim of social engineering attack as a SMEs. Good technical protection with strong data policies can overcome this problem.
- Storage corruption – Storage devices can be corrupt and loose enterprise data as a result. Data backup is the best solution to manage these situations.
- Scalability – Every storage management option cannot be easily scaled to cloud storage. Therefore, SMEs should have a better estimation of their data usage and future storage needs.
- Accessibility – Having online storage means the organization must transfer data between its users and the storage provider via the internet. Bad internet connectivity and cost concerns might be affected by the accessibility of online data and storage management.
- Compatibility – In some occasions, the files of the organization may not be supported in the storage devices due to different operating systems and another software usage.
Mitigating challenges of data and storage management today is much easier with the rapid growth of this industry as an essential part of any kind of business all around the world.
The modern era is the time that Small and Medium-sized enterprises cannot refrain from keeping data and storage management as a core business function to operate. This IT-based management method allows SMEs to be more efficient, productive and secured. However, SMEs must follow good data and storage planning and take correct decisions to avoid the consequences that can happen as a result of threats to Data and Storage.
- ACCA (2013) Technology trends: their impact on the global accountancy profession. [Online] Available at: http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/acca/global/PDF-technical/futures/pol-af-ttti.pdf. [Accessed: 5th May 2018].
- Alton, L. (2018) The 7 Biggest Problems in Data Storage – and How to Overcome Them. [Online] Available at: https://www.smartdatacollective.com/7-biggest-problems-data-storage-overcome. [Accessed: 4th May 2018].
- European Commission (2018) What is an SME?. [Online] Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/sme-definition_en. [Accessed: 4th May 2018].
- Prasad, P. (2018) Introduction to Data Storage and Management Technologies. [Online] Available at: https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-data-storage-management-ieeex-storage101x-0. [Accessed: 30th March 2018].