Some companies may think that keeping track of corporate information is something that IT businesses and other kinds of technology businesses have to worry about, but not them. This is a huge problem for any financial plan – as soon as an organization decides it does not need to be responsible for its own files, the likelihood of a continuity issue rises steeply.
Consider that a state or federal inquest, like an audit, will look at business filings going back sometimes 10 years or more, and the importance of file retention and security will become apparent. However, instituting any form of storage an entity can get its hands on is not the best solution of financial fitness.
One of the oldest and slowest forms of storage, backup tapes can hold as much data in a compressed, encrypted format as can be linked into a solution array. This basically means that hardware can be piggybacked almost indefinitely, easily providing companies with petabytes of file space. Most companies don't need a solution this big, but on a smaller scale, it is cheap and hard to hack – mostly because hackers can't reach tapes kept offline.
Gamasutra pointed out that management of these tools is critical. Guerilla Studios, a developer for Sony, nearly lost all the source code for one of its titles when it chose to keep all its backup tapes in the basement of an employee. In terms of a financial plan, this was probably one of the most foolish moves the company could have made, and it nearly cost them millions of dollars.
Cloud storageA lot of companies prefer this method for its lightweight profile and speed of access, making it easy to obtain documents and share them with others around the world. Providers often offer cheap solutions for monthly or annual fees, usually built around the amount of storage a company wants to maintain. However, the security of such systems has been questioned by government entities, including the Information Commissioner's Office and the White House. Instituting private security protocols, increasing network bandwidth and managing usage fees can make this a costly resource.
These devices are standard in every computer on the market today. Many of these have automatic backup tools built in for consumer convenience, but these are not enterprise-ready tools. Companies can invest in their own external drives, which store data faster than tape but can also be linked to virtualized online services like the cloud. As a middle-of-the-road solution, it isn't as flexible as cloud or cheap as tape, but its familiarity makes it popular with small companies.