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Is Reliability More Important Than Cost?

You might be tempted to opt for the cheapest solution when it comes to storing your data. This can be especially true when you have budget or managerial constraints from up top; perhaps enforced by those who don’t fully understand the value of the data their company holds. While at one point it time cost might have won the battle against reliability, it seems the tides are changing.

According to a global survey carried out by Western Digital, questioning CIOs and IT decision makers, reliability is more important than cost when it comes to the strategic consideration of data storage. To break that down, 39 percent of respondents said that reliability is the most important, with 25 percent saying cost. It suggests that concerns about price have fallen against the importance of protecting and discovering insights from data.

85 percent of the respondents to the survey said that they understood the positive impact that data could have on their returns, but 55 percent confessed that they aren’t storing all the data they should be for long-term success. Of course, data can be stored in all manner of ways, each method bringing its own advantages and drawbacks to the table – around three quarters of respondents said that they were advancing their use of cold storage and archiving, with 81 percent also investing in analytics to get the full potential from their data.

The majority of businesses understand that insights can be drawn from nearly all of their data. But despite this, there’s still many challenges when it comes to storing this data. 60 percent of respondents said that the ability to access data easily or quickly, along with the ability to process it, is one of their biggest IT challenges.

It’s no longer suitable to store data in cold archives and forget about it. Many businesses relied on tape storage in the past. It was cheap and reliable in part because it was disconnected from the internet of things. But the problem here is that storing data on media like tape makes it harder and less efficient to analyse.

As such, many are turning to the cloud. Budgets spend on the cloud continue to grow year on year, with 84 percent of the respondents either planning or are in progress of cloud initiatives. At the end of last year, 35 percent of those respondents had more than half of their data stored in the cloud.

Whereas consumer cloud access is more focussed on sharing your content between devices, for enterprises it’s more about taking that storage infrastructure cost and upkeep outside of the business. Many now rely on services like AWS, where data can be stored and costed depending on how much there is. And these services don’t need heavy support by inhouse IT teams, unlike traditional formats like tape or hard disk drives, meaning that money can be better invested into insights.

As everything becomes more connected, with more data being produced by the day, businesses will continue to value their data and what it means for their business. Reliability trumps here – there’s too much to lose, it doesn’t matter if the cost is higher.


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