Update: The competition form is now working! See below.
A new survey has revealed that thousands of small to medium businesses are at risk of losing critical data as they rely on storage devices designed for consumers.
It found that while 90 per cent of businesses recognise the damage that lost data would have on their business, 62 per cent backup critical data to external hard-drives. USB flash drives and CD media were also used by 45 per cent of respondents. Just 10 per cent of businesses interviewed reported that they use networked attached storage (NAS) devices which offer enterprise grade features like centralised storage, remote access, automated daily backups, redundancy (allowing you to recover data back to a certain date or time) and failover (essentially backing up the backup drive for added peace of mind).
Boris Shen, national business manager, Buffalo, comments: “Planning your storage is essential. SMBs face unique challenges when it comes to storage management. Whether you’re a small start-up, successful SOHO or thriving medium-size business, it is vital to know what level of storage you require and how to best implement it.
“When running a small business the last thing you need is to be bogged down in IT issues. The best storage solutions will not only offer secure data storage, but will also improve business organisation and productivity.”
Buffalo suggests business managers ask themselves these questions when evaluating their storage requirements:
1. How much storage space do I need? The amount of physical space required is likely to differ depending on the nature of your business. For example, a sole trader whose requirements are to keep their own financial documents will be different to a bookkeeping firm which has many clients to store, secure and manage. Generally, a two terabyte (2TB) memory is a good starting point for most small businesses, but ensure that whatever system you buy, it can expand to provide additional storage space as the business grows.
2. Am I able to set up and manage it myself? Most SMBs do not have the resources to appoint a dedicated IT professional. So selecting a storage solution that is easy to use is vital. Look for a system that is quick and simple to install, and easy to manage on an ongoing basis. The best NAS (network attached storage) systems will have an intuitive user interface based on Windows, which most professionals will be able to navigate themselves.
3. Can I share information between different staff members? Multiple user access is an important function for anyone operating a business with more than one employee or with plans to grow. Centralised storage lets all staff access shared files, increasing efficiency and removing the hassle and confusion of locating individually-managed files or duplications. Also, does your storage solution enable remote access? Choosing a NAS with remote access provides the flexibility to work from other locations, such as home, customer sites or while travelling.
4. How do I keep my documents secure? Security is one of the most important considerations when it comes to storage. NAS solutions minimise security risks as users control who has access to network data by managing different levels of password protected access to centralised files and email. With the growing trend towards storing files on third-party hosted services (ie. Cloud), businesses need to keep in mind that access to the Cloud can be interrupted if your internet connection goes down. It is also important to carefully review the terms and conditions when signing up to Cloud services to ensure that the host company can not inspect documents held or reuse the information in them.
WIN a storage solution thanks to Buffalo:
Resolve to upgrade your business’ data storage in 2013.
Enter our competition for the chance to win one of three Buffalo small business networking and storage packs, worth more than $350 each. The prize includes a Buffalo AirStation Wireless-N Broadband Router and Buffalo LinkStation Pro NAS unit. Together these devices enable you to store and share all your files, keeping business data safe, secure and always at your fingertips.
To win, tell us your biggest data disaster.