At some stage, your business will evolve to the point where you have more data than you can shake a stick at! Companies use data for all kinds of reasons, and they need access to it at any time.
The types of data they store are usually things like customer data, financial calculations and more. When your business has big data, it will need a helping hand managing it. The obvious choice would be to use a managed data services company. But before you use one, you need to ask them some questions first. They are as follows:
Who has access to your data?
The first, and perhaps most important question, is to ask who can access your data. You see, the thing about data is that you can control access to it. That means you can prevent unauthorized people from viewing its content.
That’s fine if you are managing your data yourself. But what happens when you entrust that precious data into the hands of a third-party organization? Data privacy and security are two important factors to consider when choosing a company.
The reason is simple. Any liability for data loss (intentional or otherwise) lies with you. That will always be the case, even if the company you use take responsibility for your data. So, if your customer data ends up in the wrong hands, people will sue you. Not the company you use to manage your data!
What happens if any of your data gets lost?
Any firm you use should offer a clear and defined policy on data loss. For example, if you use a cloud service provider, they should (in theory) do backups of your data on a regular basis. That means more than once a day.
Many firms will usually offer “versioning.” That means each time you make a change to a file, the old ones are kept according to a retention policy. So if you mess something up, you can avert a catastrophe by restoring from a last known good backup.
Where is your data kept?
The thing about data centers is that they are scattered across the globe. Broadridge managed data services and other legitimate firms like them will always tell you what part of the world your data is stored.
It’s important to find out that information because you ideally need a vendor that offers a local data center. Both for added peace of mind and high-speed data access.
What happens if you want to migrate to another provider?
People in charge of data management will usually sign up to a provider because of the benefits they offer. But they seldom ask what happens if they decide they want to move to another provider. They might wish to do this because of changing needs. Or they might not be happy with the service provided.
In any case, you should always find out what the company’s policy is on data migration. If it sounds like you can’t leave them with ease, consider other firms for your shortlist.