hybrid cloudYour manufacturing, shipping, warehousing, and retail channels are all perking along just fine. You have a great team handling your EDI transactions and managing exceptions and your trading partner relationships are in good shape. So what could go wrong and threaten all the good work you’ve done?

All those efforts that are functioning so well are all underpinned by their data. And if you haven’t noticed, the volume of data you’re processing is exploding. The pace and size of transactions could be a non-issue if it weren’t for the fact that you’re now saving all that data to be used for analytics efforts that help with predictions and other problem solving activities.

The issue to watch for is that all this data is growing and you need to understand the implications of large data. So here are a few things to watch and manage before they deliver surprises you don’t need.

Monitor the growth in terms of storage size

As the size of your data grows you need more capacity. That may seem obvious but until you get a handle on the rate of growth you can easily outstrip whatever capacity you have in place. Local storage can keep your access times fast but without a good plan for adding drives to your storage pool you may find yourself out of space unexpectedly. Online and on-demand cloud storage can be set up to automatically allocate more capacity as needed but monitor your usage to assure you’re not hitting any preconfigured limits.

Storage will get more expensive

Storage whether local or cloud based has become less expensive but because we are storing so much more data the costs still escalate. Local storage can be restricted by simply not purchasing more drives and you can establish spending caps for cloud accounts. But assess your data growth and make appropriate budget decisions.

Make sure your analytics efforts are using all your data

With all that data taking up space and expenses make sure you’re making use of it. That typically means applying analytics to your data to discover better approaches and make changes when indicated. Advances in AI can supercharge your analytics and make a real difference when applied properly and then taken into consideration.

Manage your data retention practices

Not all data needs to be retained forever. There are both financial and legal reasons to move data from live access storage to long term tape archives, and eventually to delete appropriately. Review the legalities for your industry and take appropriat actions so you aren’t keeping too much data in expensive storage.

Diversify your storage strategy

Cloud storage is flexible and affordable but enterprises still need local storage for a variety of reasons. Look for a combination of storage systems (hybrid cloud storage) that seamlessly integrates all your storage systems and allow you to make changes as your needs dictate.

These are only a few of the considerations you need to be aware of as your data storage needs grow. But the most important issue is to make certain you are extracting the most value possible from your data investments.

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