In the business world, keeping data safe and available at all times is of the utmost importance. However, there can be controversy over whether it’s better to manage your data on-site or offsite. Although there are pros and cons to both options and it can depend on the industry your business is in, there are distinct benefits to onsite data management.
Immediate Access to Your Data
Having immediate access to your data whenever you need it is absolutely essential when it comes to running a business. When you manage your data on-site your business has the ability to access it any time it’s needed without interference from outside entities or situations. The data is within your control to do with what you want at any moment of the day or night. There’s no worrying about being blocked from your data by lack of internet access or service providers’ issues that are beyond your sphere of influence. Having your data management onsite provides a level of control that you don’t get from depending on service providers and/or the cloud.
If your business absolutely depends on data being processed and delivered immediately and predictably then managing your data on-site is something you may seriously want to consider. When your data is managed on-site it is sharing network resources with no one else’s data and this can reduce the time it takes for data to arrive once it is requested by you or your customers. When you use offsite data management your data is stored in a data warehouse, sometimes in an unknown location, with an unknown number of other businesses and you all share the resources of that same data warehouse. This sharing of resources can slow down the response time when a request has been made for your data.
At first glance you might think that having your data managed offsite is inexpensive due to the storage ‘deals’ vendors advertise. However, the real truth is that, yes, storage is really cheap but the management of that data is not. This is where the costs can add up with using an offsite data management vendor. Using your own company resources to manage data on-site is a way to reduce those vendor costs. Due to these factors, on-site data management comes out ahead when looked at from a cost-benefit perspective.
No Internet Access Needed
When managing your data on-site there are no requirements for internet access in order to do so. This can be a major benefit when running a business. The key to running a business is making sure everything is running and accessible at all times and to eliminate any downtime that might interfere with those goals. However, it’s no secret that sometimes internet services can be a little unpredictable either due to upgrade issues, external emergencies, or simply weather conditions. When challenges like that arise and your business is using offsite data management services, you lose access to your data until the outside challenges are resolved, leaving you with no option but to sit back and wait. This can result in negative consequences for your brand, business, and clients.
It Is More Secure
Generally, using on-site data management creates a more secure environment for your company’s data. The reason for this is that on-site data management reduces greatly threats like having your data hacked by nefarious online evil-doers or being lost due to insecure or mismanaged online data management vendors. Once you put your data ‘out there’ in the offsite world you open your business and its data up to situations beyond your control. Depending on your line of business this may or may not be an issue for you.
Now this does have one caveat. In order for your data to be more secure on-site you need to be proactive in taking basic security precautions seriously. Precautions such as using proper access verification control techniques and storing data backups properly are of utmost importance.
When it comes to access to your data by your employees it’s best to follow the standard ‘least privilege’ rule. This means that you make sure that only the employees that should have access to the data in order to do their jobs have access. Everyone else should be restricted from gaining access.
As for storing data backups properly, the first rule of thumb is to actually create data backups on a regular basis and to check that the backups are valid. Neglecting to do either one of these things can result in massive disappointment and interference when it comes to your ongoing business goals. Many businesses put off backing up their data thinking that it is unlikely that they will need it. This may be true but the one day that you do actually need it can be a heartbreaking one without this proactive action. Of equal importance is testing the backup after it has been done. It is a very simple thing to check that the backups you are doing are complete and accurate and provides you and your business with assurance that the data is indeed secure.
And lastly, once your data has been backed up and checked for accuracy, you need to make sure that copies of those backups are kept at an offsite location such as another facility you own or even a local bank depository. This insures that if anything happens to the physical location of your business such as a fire or natural disaster you will be able to recover your data without any issues.
Now depending on what industry your business is in, it may be required that you use on-site data management due to regulatory requirements. Industries such as healthcare and financial services are just two examples of sectors that have strict regulations that require them to manage their data on-site in their own facilities.
These regulatory restrictions come into play due to the strict compliance issues of certain industries and the inability to guarantee that offsite data management vendors can meet those regulations. Failure to meet required regulations can mean steep fines or even businesses being shut down by Federal agencies. In these cases, and in other businesses where there is a need to meet strict regulatory standards, it is best to use on-site data management solutions.
Another reason for using on-site data management is visibility and knowing at all times where your company’s data is located. The use of offsite data management vendors releases your data from your control and leaves it literally roaming the globe. In order for data management vendors to ensure that your data is available to you 24/7 they need to disperse your data to their various global data management locations. Having your data at several locations at once is their way of making sure that if one of their facilities experiences an issue it doesn’t affect your data’s up time.
The downside of this process is that your data is forever moving around the world and totally out of your control. This risks the security of your data and your business making it vulnerable to the possibility of being accessed by unauthorized individuals.
As I’ve mentioned several times throughout this article, using an offsite data management vendor means you lose control of your data. This means that you must have absolute trust that the vendor will protect your data at all times. But what if they don’t? What if they can’t protect your data? There are many trust issues when it comes to using offsite data management vendors. Although most, if not all, vendors take security seriously they are still not immune to having their data accessed illegally. All you have to do is read recent news headlines to see the current list of companies that have had their data bases hacked by the bad guys.
Among the other trust issues when using an offsite data management vendor are: What if the vendor your company uses goes out of business? What happens to your data then? Or what if you decide to go with another vendor for offsite data management, will your current vendor give your data back to you? In a perfect world, they would but sometimes the world isn’t perfect and situations like this do arise.
This is where using on-site data management can be useful and reassuring. You know when you are storing your data on-site that you can trust that it will be handled properly and with the utmost respect it deserves and requires.
Data integrity is vitally important to your business. Without it, your data is useless. Every time your company transfers data from your facilities to an offsite data management vendor the integrity of that data, and your business, is at risk. Using on-site data management can help to mitigate this particular situation from happening by reducing the possibility of outside influences and interception.
These 9 benefits are just a few reasons to consider on-site data management for your company’s valuable data and depending on your particular situation and industry there may be many more. The best thing for any business to do is to carefully weigh the risks to the benefits no matter which data management solution you are thinking of implementing.