When looking for data storage options, all businesses should keep an eye on scalability. In this sense, scalability is the potential for future growth and the ability of your software and IT solutions to meet the needs of that future growth.
Data storage options and scalability is much like purchasing clothes on a budget for a child. Although the child may fit very well into a certain size now, it is almost guaranteed that he or she will need bigger and bigger clothes as the years wear on. To prepare for that eventuality, the purchaser either has the option of spending a little bit of money on a variety of different sizes now, or to spend a little more on the types of clothes that will grow with the child.
When it comes to data storage options, the same thing holds true. You can either spend a little bit of money now for a lower quality storage solution that can be replaced, or you can choose a high-quality solution that has the potential for future growth. Because your business data is important, it’s almost always better to opt for the higher quality version, especially if security or data recovery is important to what you do.
Data storage options and scalability means more than just having the physical capacity to store enough data. While having access to terabytes of storage space can be good, data storage also has to look at the speed of uploading files, data protection, ease of data retrieval, and data management. For example, if you choose a brand new off site cloud storage provider with plenty of room for your files, imagine what might happen in a few years if that provider takes on additional clients who also need to access the same server resources. Upload times and your customer support might go downhill, and there is always the potential that the company might not flourish and you’ll have to do everything all over again.
When choosing data storage options, it’s important to map out the next five years of your data storage needs. It’s also important to consider what is going to change in data storage over this same amount of time. For example, a terabyte-sized internal hard drive may be a great option for now and many people find that they can get great use out of it. However, five years ago, it might have seemed way too big to be useful and way too expensive for anyone to afford.
The same is true of hosted cloud platform types. Many cloud based providers may meet your storage requirement now, but over time your needs may change. Are the platforms you use today going to be relevant and useful in two years? Does that storage company plan for contingencies should information technology change?
Almost all businesses need a different type and size of data storage solution. It’s best to talk with your IT consultant to determine what you should spend today in order to give yourself storage scalability options for the future. You might be surprised to find that a few extra dollars spent today can save you thousands down the road.