How Not To Struggle With Data Storage

Large data

Many businesses have already embraced the benefits of going fully digital and it has saved us time and eliminated the need for stacks of file cabinets in every office.

But the digital boom presents us with a brand new range of issues. By moving all our files into a digital space, the amount of storage we need to maintain has grown larger and larger.

As digital technology has improved, the resolution and thus the size of the digital files we create has exploded. Items such as photographs, which used to be printed on film are now digital files stored and transferred by computers. As a result of the increase in both the number of digital files we use and their ever-growing size, the size of the data we need to store and backup has exploded exponentially.

This blog lists a number of ways in which we can tackle our ever-growing storage problem.

A Local Server or Network Attached Storage (NAS) Device

A local server is a high end computer system machine designed to serve many files to multiple clients at one time from locally held storage.

The advantage that a local network server has is that all your vital data is available to all users in one central location. This means that all employees on the network can access all the resources made available.

These machines can serve files at the speed of the local network, transferring large projects, files, and documents from a central source within the network quickly and with ease.

A Network Attached Storage device (or NAS) has many of the same network properties but in a smaller more compact profile. These can be available in units small enough to fit in a cupboard nook and yet still provide staggering storage capacity on only a small amount of power.

Both of these units can often be expanded with more and more storage, so as an organization grows over time its storage requirements are met.

Cloud Storage

Sometimes the best option for storage is to move your ever-increasing data outside of the business and into the cloud. Offloading the costs of hardware and IT management can work out to be an intelligent business decision and one that provides freedom and flexibility for your data storage needs.

The real advantage of cloud storage comes from the ability to expand and contract your services as needed without the overhead of adding and maintaining new hardware.

By moving storage to the cloud, data can be accessed from anywhere in the world allowing limitless expansion to any number of devices, locations and offices. Being able to access data from many locations at a single time can often provide a valuable boost to productivity that can help to improve productivity.

Some drawbacks of cloud storage come from factors that may be outside of the control of the business. Not all businesses have access to internet connections that are fast enough to handle large amounts of data transfer to and from the cloud.

Local laws and security regulations can prove to be a barrier to enabling storage in the cloud too. Some regulations either prohibit the feature entirely or enable only certain specific types for use.

The Right Choice For You

Both cloud and local storage can provide further benefits to enhance your business. Audit logs, central backups, and version control can all be used to secure the way your firm handles data.

Whatever your situation, whether a small NAS, server or cloud, we can advise on the best choices for your business.

Contact us on 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au to allow us to use our expertise to make the right choice for your data.

Is Dropbox Suitable For Your Business?

Dropbox - is it suitable for me?

It seems easy! Install Dropbox and then drag your files into a Dropbox folder and you’ve got yourself a cloud based file storage system that brings your business in line with modern expectations. But then again, maybe not!

Due to its simplicity Dropbox has grown to become one of the main file sharing and cloud storage solutions around. For some businesses using Dropbox can provide good value, and it never hurts when your staff already know how to use the software. In other cases another alternative designed to meet business needs may be more suitable.

When Dropbox is a Good Choice

Micro-sized business: If your business is small with only yourself or a couple of employees.

No sensitive information: This includes personal details of customers, vendors and staff or other proprietary data such as accounting information.

Nobody ever accidentally deletes anything: Dropbox is a syncing service, which means when a file is deleted, it is deleted from all machines. While you can recover the file from the Dropbox website you need to do this within 30 days – which by the time you notice it’s missing may be too late.

If you’re thinking those attributes sound more like a fictional business, you’re not far off.

Dropbox’s popularity in the consumer space has caused businesses to use Dropbox despite the risks. Dropbox is designed for syncing and NOT backup. This means while your data is copied across all connected devices, it is a mirror of the data only – when you delete or change the original file it is immediately synced across devices. If malware infects one machine this can spread between all your connected devices and put all of them at risk.

You may require access control on certain files or folders. Dropbox acts like a free-for-all, the shared files are sitting there available to anyone with access to read, change and copy. You will also miss collaborative editing, losing out in productivity and data resilience as multiple employees overwrite each other simultaneously.

Another issue is – where are your files that are located in Dropbox actually stored? What country, what type of data centre, what countries laws apply, for privacy reasons do you require all data to be stored within Australia or another country? These are all legitimate questions which Dropbox doesn’t have an easy answer for.

If Dropbox makes sense for your business, there’s no reason to change. But if it is clearly not a good choice for you there are multiple corporate grade solutions available. These are designed for specifically for businesses with security, encryption and collaboration controls built in. Rather than the easiest solution which may pose a risk to your business consider implementing a business class scalable solution that meets all your needs.

Call us at 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au to discuss online cloud storage solutions for your business

Four Steps To A Modern Paperless Office

Paperless OfficeEver since computers were invented people have been talking about a paperless office. But if you are like me your desk is buried in paper, shelves are overcrowded with stacks of documents and there is just enough space for your keyboard, mouse and coffee? Well it is now time to go paperless, not just for your own sanity, but to streamline your entire business. It’s the one move that will save time and space while gaining flexibility for your mobile workforce.

When you’re ready to move to a paperless office, consider these 4 steps:

  1. Leverage the cloud for storage and search: Research the cloud and see how you can implement in your business. Documents can be uploaded, viewed and edited only by those with permission. There are free options like Google Drive and Dropbox right up to corporate grade solutions like Soonr (which is what we use). Some solutions provide functionality that easily enables you to find files using search functions, and no longer need to remember whether it was filed by name, subject or category – just enter what you need and let the system locate it for you. Then simply edit, share or email the file as required. No more filing cabinets or archive rooms, just clutter-free workspaces, room to breathe, and possibly even lower overheads now that you could fit into a smaller office space. Cloud based file storage also allow remote access, perfect for working on the go or telecommuting staff. Access files at any time using your secure login, on any device, from any location.
  2. Provide training across the board: Ongoing training is needed to ensure all workers are up to speed with the new system and the way you’d like things done. This is also the best time to set standards for file and folder names, new collaboration norms and security protocols. Long-term adoption requires cooperation from workers at all levels of your business and training for everyone will go a long way towards its success.
  3. Scan necessary papers: Unless you are a new business you will probably need to scan a lot of your old paperwork. Most office grade multifunction printers offer double-sided feed scanning, thus you can quickly scan papers into the system and then dispose of the paper. Alternatively, you can obtain special scanning hardware like the Fujitsu Scansnaps. If you still need a fax machine consider a fax to email service or see if your fax machine can be set to accept digital files only. File will scan to quite a small size, so running out of hard drive space shouldn’t be a concern.
  4. Prioritize backups: Once you have digitized your files you don’t want to lose them so you best have a robust backup system – including a regular off-site backup. Treat your backups as a vital insurance policy, so that your files are readily available and intact if required. Use your backups to address any issues as soon as they arise and keep your new paperless files well-managed and secure.

Ready to go paperless? We can help. Call us today at 08 83263 4364 or at support@dpcomputing.com.au.