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What to consider when selecting your data partner

The price of making the wrong choice with your data storage provider

Successful businesses rely on a massive databaste to function. They require enough storage to save all their records, from payroll to finances, from customer's orders to catalogues and business plans and projections. Many records have gone digital, and this has many advantages, but a couple disadvantages as well. What back in the day only required a pen and a notebook is now digital and often outsourced, with few companies actually having onsite drives where they store their information.

Most businesses will hire data space at some data centre that will provide a cloud as well as complementary services - such as platforms, payment processing and even hosting for their online presence. Corporate package deals are designed to meet all the needs and the interests of companies, and if you make the wrong choice when picking your data partner, your business could pay a high price for it.

What could go wrong

Data leaks

Confidentiality is paramount for businesses. You don't want the details of your finances or internal affairs to fall in the hands of hackers, tax agents or the competition, and let's not get started about your customers' personal information leaking. You could be sued for millions if this happens.

Data centres are upping their security, not only in order to provide a better service but also due to the post GDPR dilemmas that pushed many providers to make bigger investments in their infrastructure. With hackers becoming more powerful and adaptative, and security measures being taken down one after the other, the only way to hire a safe provider is to choose those on the very top of the game.

Power outages and system breakdowns

A wide proportion of the investment in data centres is around supoprt infrastructure for the drives. Cooling systems, backup power and physical security must be taken care of in order to prevent the system going down because of some structural faliure. If your data provider goes down, your systems will go down as well, and you won't be able to access your files or process digital actions such as payments and customer's consultations.

A handful of data centres in London have recently experienced these problems, but luckily, investment and improvement policies have helped fix many of the problems that were costing their customers money.

Accesibility problems

When it comes to data storage, finding space where to record all your data is not enough. You need good connectivity in order to access your information at any time that you need. Depending on the volume and weight of data that you need to handle, you have to make sure you have enough bandwith, that the data is protected but still accessible by the right people, and that the system allows you to easily find and work with all the information that you have stored.

A non-friendly interface for data hosting, a non-intuitive system of search and recovery, or a slow connection that will send many error messages and delay uploads and downloads, is certainly not what you want when you hire data storage.

Is London the best place for finding a good data partner?

Data centres that are close to your headquarters are often a plus, mainly for logistics' sake. If you have an issue or a problem you'd like to see solved, of if you need to talk to a provider's representative, all you have to do is drive for a short while and you might get the interview that you wanted and get things done. However, in this day and time, physical proximity is not as important as it used to be, mostly thanks to digital connectivity that allows us to communicate with each other in real time.

Still, London is a very strong centre of data processing and hosting in the world. Luckily for many investors, the effects of Brexit weren't nearly as terrible as some expected, and investment and infrastructural developments have continued to grow from year to year, attracting both national and international capitals. The Alibaba cloud in London is only one of the many examples of powerful companies with millions and millions worth of data that have recently expanded to our city and built physical data centres to support their operations.

London is still a data world capital, and until not so long ago it was the top European city in this regard; just recently Frankfurt overtakes London as the most powerful data storage centre in this continent, but we still hold a very close second position. If you want to hire a data partner in London, you are very likely to find one. 

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