Most small businesses start on a shoestring budget, often with a DIY infrastructure and someone who “knows a little about technology” in charge of IT. There might be a few laptops, a few hard drives that act as servers, and most of the data hosted in the cloud in the beginning.
That might be OK for a bit, just to start out, but lackadaisical data storage can come back to haunt businesses as customers sign on and security expectations are rising.
As regulations change and data protection and privacy become regulated more heavily all over the world, infrastructure is no longer just an after-thought. Moreover, as your business grows so does your cyber vulnerability.
IT Infrastructure and Cybersecurity: A Match Made Outside of the Cloud
2021 saw yet another rise in cyberattacks. The most likely targets didn’t change (we’re still talking about the healthcare and the financial industries). What changed are the incredibly high ransom demands and the frequency of attacks.
As analysts warn that the cybersecurity crisis is by no means approaching an end, more and more companies realize the importance of their security strategy. And no such strategy can start without proper infrastructure.
Today’s security-minded companies have started to migrate from the cloud to colocation. You can’t argue with their reasoning: cloud storage falls short on security prerequisites, flexibility, scalability, and data accessibility. What’s left? Apparently not even a better deal, as cloud storage can end up costing far more than advertised.
Of course, you may be willing to risk your data (although we don’t advise you to!) and keep it in poorly managed facilities or cloud storage. However, you may be risking more than that: your ability to sell to bigger clients and, consequently, your ability to grow.
Unreliable IT Means Big Fines and Lost Sales
If your IT infrastructure and data storage leave much to be desired, customers will notice.
Large companies, especially those in heavily regulated industries (healthcare, finance, oil and gas, mining, pharma, and others) will be looking at how you handle your data and, more importantly, their data if they choose to go into business with you. This won’t be just a peek—it will be heavy scrutiny.
Many large corporations do IT audits before signing on with a company and even write expectations and responsibility for liability into contracts. For example, if you sell to a large manufacturer, your contact with them might include stipulations about IT uptime and data access. If your system goes down, every minute could cost you thousands of dollars.
IT can come into play even before the sale. Big companies do their due diligence and might have you submit large audits on IT security, connectivity, and reliability. If you can’t live up to their standards, you could lose out on big business.
The more a business grows, the more it is susceptible to both fines for failing to comply with data regulations and cyber attacks. Their IT departments know that all hackers need is an entry point into their network to start wreaking havoc and demanding millions of dollars as ransom.
So they will take every precaution to ensure that the entry point isn’t you or your infrastructure. They will ask you for a documented security strategy, documentation on how your infrastructure is handled, and how your backups are thought out.
No matter how good your intentions are, ensuring the security and data protection large companies demand it’s next to impossible if your data is stored in the cloud. Or if you don’t have a large IT department that handles your on-premise data center.
So even if you’re a small or medium sized business, if you’re selling to enterprises, you need to be on top of IT.
This is where colocation comes into play.
How Colocation in the Right Facility Can Help You Boost Your Revenue
Hiring an entire IT department to manage on-prem or cloud storage is not only extremely costly but also very hard given the networking skills shortage. On the other hand, a colocation facility like the Heartland Technology Data Center (HTDC) can act as your outside experts and ensure that your data is safely stored and handled.
You can focus on your business and getting those sales—we’ll help keep your data safe so you can reassure customers and meet your contractual obligations. With colocation, you know exactly where your data is and you have physical access to it whenever you need it—yes, even in the case of a major natural disaster, you can still drive to the data center and get your data.
With all the security and data protection measures in place, you are ready to attract bigger customers and pass every infrastructure test they may request of you. You can read more about the benefits of colocation here or talk to us about your data storage needs.