We live in an exciting and dynamic era for business. Technology is constantly evolving to improve communication and efficiency in managing customer portfolios, allowing businesses to manage more portfolios simultaneously and get work done faster and smarter. But as technology takes control, it brings risks that must be managed effectively.
In recent years, offerings in the data management space have exploded, with thousands of different products offering unique solutions to improve your data management.
Here is a list of some of the best solutions for small to medium sized organisations and how to get the most out of them.
The discussion of data management begins at the ground level, with the operating system you choose for your business. This service area offers just two seriously competitive choices – Windows or Mac OSX – each with various pros and cons targeting different types of organisations. For a large company, it’s difficult look past Windows and its native Active Directory, the world’s undisputed #1 in centrally managing users throughout organisations. Similarly OSX offers a superior product suite for media focused organisations despite an absence of an Active Directory alternative for the OS. With the increasing availability of third party software to manage more fundamental tasks, the choice of operating system has an ever-reducing impact on data management. The most important consideration is the software that is essential for your business’ core operations and on which operating system they will run. When choosing software that will work with your business, pay close attention to it’s format (Windows or Unix) because it often makes the choice of operating system for you.
In the minds of many, ‘office suite’ is synonymous with Microsoft Office. It is a fantastic suite that has been around since 1990, has over a billion users worldwide and it is available for both Windows and Mac. But there are many alternatives. For a start, Apple has iWork, it’s own office suite developed to be exceptionally functional and intuitive for Mac users. Price is also an important consideration, as rolling an office suite out across your business means licence fees for every install. Libre Office is a completely free open source office suite that’s incredibly powerful. The package features seven applications, including a word processor, spreadsheet editor and a slide show builder. It is available for Windows and OSX (and Linux, if you are bold enough) and can be downloaded directly from their website. It is well worth exploring for cost-sensitive businesses (as we all are).
File Sync and Share
No data management tool has taken off as fast or as strong as the file sync and share solution. While the most popular solutions in this space – namely Dropbox and Box – boast unparalleled functionality and ease-of-use, they raise concerns surrounding data security. Many secure competitors have recently entered the space, however this increase in data security is normally accompanied by a fall in functionality, causing employees to revert to use their personal Dropbox account to share company data. For this reason, ease-of-use should be the primary criteria in assessing file sync and share solutions. Both Box and Dropbox for Business can be centrally administrated and provide auditing – which is far more secure than ignoring the issue and letting your staff handle things themselves. While neither solution offers client-side encryption or an on-premises option, your employees need them, and it’s better to have control over the beast than to let it control you. Podzy provides an enterprise-focused secure alternative to these common solutions. It features a centralised admin console for managing users and groups throughout an organisation and the Podzy client for easily sharing files between users and devices. Podzy secures the use of file sharing in enterprise with client-side encryption and private keys, meaning that your data is stored as encrypted chunks at a number of different storage locations. Podzy also provides the option of on-premises installation.