Backup and Storage

Secure document storage shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg

Secure document storage is supposed to make life easier for firms, so it is essential that they do not over-commit to data management.

Firms investing in secure online document storage should ensure that they do not fall into the trap that has caught out so many other businesses.

While having a database of important information is great practice for most enterprises these days, it is essential that it does not come at the expense of tying up dozens of staff charged with data management.

In some cases where this has happened, the board does not even realise the total cost of managing the information as it is spread across many departments’ budgets.

As such, those who have invested in secure document storage might be wise to keep tabs on how many staff it takes to run the database efficiently and work out whether it would be more cost-effective to outsource its management.

This could free up both the workers and the budget for use on more profitable ventures.

IBM warned the cost of data warehousing is often more than appears on the balance sheet, with spokesman Mark Thomas noting that there are often numerous people working hard to keep things running smoothly.

"It is more than the hardware, the software and the people that work directly with the data warehouse. There are business units outside the IT organisation that almost certainly have people working with the data warehouse as well," the Register quoted him as saying.

The specialist pointed to a bank that had employed 106 workers across the business simply to run its data warehousing.

While it is essential in the 21st century to have data in digital format, it is not necessary to have so many people in charge of managing the database.

"These were staff who were accessing and manipulating the data – not productive work but getting data in and out, and keeping the surrounding business intelligence environment going," Mr Thomas claimed.

"There’s a huge amount of cost involved in keeping data warehouses going, just in moving data as well as indexing and partitioning and tuning. There can be a lot of people involved just to make sure the data is being jammed in and the associated processing work goes on."

Meanwhile, Getronics chief technology officer Tim Patrick-Smith recently told the Financial Times Connected Business podcast that IT departments have a lot on their plate when it comes to adhering to the rules of data storage.