UK SMBs are struggling to manage their data

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New research from Seagate has shed light on the data habits of UK SMBs revealing that many British companies are finding it difficult to store and manage their organisation's data effectively.

To better understand the challenges facing SMBs in the UK, the company surveyed 1,006 US SMB employees regarding their employers' data storage practices, preparedness for GDPR, cybersecurity policies and how often they delete unused files from work computers and company servers.

Seagate found that only 35 per cent of SMBs have company storage centralised with on-site servers. Almost a third (29%) use cloud-based storage solutions while 23 per cent of SMB employees reported using removable storage such as USB drives as their primary way of storing company data.

Storing company data in different locations presents a significant security risk that also makes it difficult and time-consuming for staff to find the documents they need. Network-attached storage (NAS) drives provide the ideal solution for this problem as they allow businesses to store data in one location and schedule regular backups.

Seagate also found that work habits are changing in the UK with two thirds of the SMB employees surveyed working from home which suggests that SMBs are ahead of the curve. However, 49 per cent of UK SMB employees working remotely reported having difficulty accessing their files out of the office and 46 per cent of staff at companies with 50-99 employees run out of space for their data at least once a month.

When it comes to backing up data, UK SMBs have strong procedures with backups occurring 15.4 times per month and over a quarter (28%) backup their data daily. Although when it comes to deleting items from work computers, 52 per cent of workers at companies with 10-249 employees reported not deleting items more frequently than once per month.

Director of Channel Marketing EMEA at Seagate, Alessandra de Paula provided further insight on the company's research, saying:

“Britain has nurtured an impressive ecosystem of entrepreneurs and SMBs over the past few years. These businesses are ambitious, driven, and looking for rapid growth in markets often packed with incumbent big players. In this landscape it’s easy to appreciate why data management, data protection and regulatory compliance aren’t always top of the priority list.

“However, data is the new currency of the digital age; and SMBs that take control of their company data will find that it pays dividends in the increased productivity and efficiency their employees will demonstrate when they are able to access the data they need, wherever they need it.”

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