Tips and Best Practices for Data Storage Management

Data storage management isn’t what it used to be. In the past, hard drives stored information and onsite backups saved the daywhen hard drives failed. With these methods, organizations had more time to shop the market and compare storage upgrades.

Data storage companies today face the pressure of delivering data-related performance that’s bigger, better, faster, with greater agility. Data storage management has become more complicated and competitive with storage solutions for different workloads.

Even while the market changes, customer demand continues to accelerate. Consider the following tips to keep up with the fast-paced changes.

What to Do with So Much Data

A common issue with data management is that there’s just so much data. In fact, companies are dealing with more data than any other time in history. Data flows continually from CRM systems, analytics platforms, internal databases, social networking, websites, SaaS applications, and more. Not to mention, IoT (Internet of Things) processes add even more data. It’s no surprise that IT departments are frantic to keep up.

But don’t forget to think about end users – your customers, clients, and even employees. If you work with data storage companies in cloud environments, you need to account for solutions, workloads, and data for internal use while serving your customers and fulfilling requirements. If your company mixes on-premise storage with cloud-based solutions, you must keep track of data in-house and those on servers out-of-reach.

While the cloud offers greater agility and flexibility, it creates difficulties for those who keep track of where data is located and how it’s accessed. Good relationships with your data storage companies are critical to helping you keep track of data sources for effective data storage management.

Buying New Equipment As-Needed Leads to Bigger Problems

In the past, organizations bought new technologies to solve storage issues and blended them with legacy systems. This lead to storage silos and using equipment that wasn’t designed to interact with each other for a seamless integration. Mix-matched systems put a strain on IT teams as they migrate legacy systems while being taxed with keeping the company operating at full capacity.

When making these changes, long-term use and business goals must be considered to avoid revenue loss and dissatisfied customers. Storage issues often impact the IT environment and business. Whenever a new technology is implemented without thought or future business objectives, the problem becomes worse until it eventually breaks.

Productivity also suffers when IT decisions aren’t made with business objectives in mind. Customer use should always be considered because a misalignment between IT and business stakeholders can result in poor customer service and delivery for internal and external customers.

Data Differences, Regulations & Compliance

With an overabundance of differing data, the challenge is storing different types of data in various storage solutions. You may have critical data being accessed 24/7 and cold data you rarely use but needs to be backed up. You must have a strategic approach to handling different data storage, especially when your industry is highly regulated.

From a purely organizational risk perspective, if you don’t have proper data management in place, you may not stand up against audits or investigations. IT teams, stakeholders, and legal/compliance teams must work together and plan for these scenarios rather than being reactive in a situation after-the-fact. Negative results due to these departments not working together can include sanctions, fines, or a loss of productivity.

Fixing Your Data Management Problems

If you find yourself in times of trouble, buying new technology or throwing money at the problem may not be the best way to fix it. Rather, finding the right personnel to improve processes and data management strategies may be your best bet. The position of Chief Data Officer (CDO) has evolved to handled issues related to data storage management. They help settle disputes between multiple stakeholders.

Another policy change that needs to happen in many companies is stopping to identify long-term business goals and reverse engineering the proper execution to meet the goals. Organizations that work together with overlapping solutions that integrate well can effectively solve problems. These teams can handle new problems and overcome the negative effects of poor decisions.

Storage Solutions & Business Units

A common IT challenge many companies face is “bi-modal” IT. Mode 1 is the cost to keep the lights on. Mode 2 is when IT teams focus on business growth and innovation.

Mode 1 is predictable but too much time spent here means less time for innovation. While IT budgets remain the same, it’s important to make sure IT implementations are aligned with business goals so time and efforts aren’t wasted.

Another approach to solving the problem isn’t necessarily making each business unit work together through the whole process. A more agile approach involves multiple teams working together in parallel on the same project with convergence at specific intervals. This may speed up the ideation process to improve time-to-market and other similar metrics.

The more IT and management teams can work together, the more solutions can work in harmony to maximize business value.

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