With the advent of the new technological age, businesses and individuals find it more and more difficult to cope with the growing amount of information. The more technological businesses become, the more information they are compelled to process and store, thus creating a whole set of challenges and controversies in the IT field. The problem is that managing business information is impossible without developing and implementing effective data storage systems.
Very often, backing up business data to a remote location becomes the only possible means to guarantee effectiveness of all information processes within organization. In this context, online backup services could potentially resolve the most complicated IT issues in business. Really, in business, organizations gather large amounts of information about their products, market reputation, customers, and competitors. They work to determine the major weaknesses and strengths of their sales strategies and use this information in the process of achieving strategic organizational objectives.
Information improves organizations’ competitive positions, and “the company losing information may have its competitive edge dulled. Losing a competitive edge can be a significant cost to any business, but even losing competitive edge is not as dangerous as losing and revealing information about possible business vulnerabilities and gaps to potential and current competitors” (Halibozek, Jones & Kovacich, 2007). The fact is that the loss of data may take different forms and patterns; the reasons of losing information are also many and numerous.
Regardless of whether the loss of data is caused by a virus or an external attack, customer files, emails, financial and accounting information – all these may become a serious threat to the stability of businesses. Statistical research suggests that one half of businesses that lose critical information file for bankruptcy (Jacobi, 2005); as such, online backup mechanisms seem to be a viable solution to the discussed problems. The problem of losing information is well-known to businesses, but here it is more than important to investigate the relevance of online backup services.
The problem of losing information in business is significant from the IT security perspective for numerous reasons: these include the risks of losing competitiveness, the risks of bankruptcy, and the risks of competitive vulnerability, as discussed in the previous paragraph. Investigating the relevance of online backup services is needed to evaluate its effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and the principles of use. Losing information seems a difficult and hardly resolvable problem, but with the current speed of technological advancement, even the most controversial and difficult technological issues can be successfully resolved.
The issue of losing data is not an exception, and TechSoup meta-site provides brief but comprehensible information with regard to using online backup services. Upon visiting the website, the first impression is that information is well-structured, is divided into several subcategories, and is written in an easy understandable language – the features that even inexperienced IT users can use to grasp the meaning of online backup services. Furthermore, it is objectivity of provided data and the lack of clear or hidden advertising that makes the website fully informative and not imposing.
That the authors discuss both pros and cons of using online backup services makes it possible for the reader to make a relevant and justified choice; and where online backup services display serious technological limitations, the meta-site provides a set of recommendations for overcoming these limitations in practice (Lasa, 2006). For example, when it comes to using online backup services, “speed and amount of data backup is limited by the speed of your Internet connection. Online backup over dial-up connection will be slow and is generally only suitable for small amounts of data” (Lasa, 2006).
Here, it also means that the speed of data management and its effectiveness largely depends on the particular choice of Internet providers. Bearing in mind the variety and number of Internet companies in the market, choosing the right one with the best and the most appropriate speed of connection will help companies resolve these issues at hand. Also, the meta-site suggests that companies that limit their choice of data storage mechanisms to online backup services actually trust all important information to a single person (and provider), and in case the data is lost, the given provider will hardly be able to restore it.
To mitigate these risks, the authors also recommend using CDs or DVDs to archive backed-up data (Lasa, 2006). These are the most feasible solutions to the issues, with which online backup services can be associated. In general, the website provides detailed and unbiased information about online backup services. Unfortunately, the information regarding the seriousness of data storage issues is absent. As such, IT users may not understand the seriousness of the issue and may not be willing to seek immediate and effective solutions.
Even when the need to investigate the problem arises, IT professionals will need to search the net for possible statistical or descriptive information with regard to the issue of losing information and its impact on businesses. Nevertheless, the provided information is structured in a way that makes it easier to understand HOW to cope with the growing information management tensions. The website does not simply describe how online backup services work, but evaluates their benefits and drawbacks, and provides a set of recommendations for choosing a provider.
The structure of information is extremely convenient and is designed to cover broad audiences. Conclusion Certainly, the mere fact that IT users can access information about backup services does not mean that the issue of data management and storage is no longer relevant. On the contrary, the more meta-sites devote time and effort to describing such services, the more concerned they become about possible implications of losing information in business.
Objectively, technology works to provide IT users and professionals with a whole set of effective instruments for storing and managing data; and it is obvious that online backup services can significantly reduce the risks of losing important and sensible data. Simultaneously, even when using online backup services, there is still much room for technological improvement, and whether businesses and individuals are offered relevant technological solutions depends on the speed and the quality of the current technological progress.