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Records Storage: Five Places NOT to Store Your Data

It may be an over-simplification to say that records storage and management companies like The Data Vault exist for a reason, but that wouldn’t make it any less true.

And it’s also too easy to look at your document and tape storage as a necessary evil, or as just another expense sapping money from the budget. But if you cut corners and don’t take proper precautions to protect your critical business data, you are doing your business a disservice.

Records storage

Records storage is at its best when handled by a local or regional professional records management company.

Think about it this way: Shouldn’t your contingency plan be a reflection of your company’s vitality? Having the right records storage solution is an indicator that you understand the value of your company and the data that helps to run it.

It’s understandable that budgets are tight these days, and the volume of data to store grows exponentially, often making storing your records a challenge. Heck, that data is even taking on more and more new formats.

But that’s still no excuse to short-change your business when it comes to records storage. So with that in mind here are five places you should avoid trusting with your critical business data, no matter what form it may take.

1. On-site: This one seems obvious, but there are a lot of companies out there storing boxes upon boxes of important files, and even data tapes, in storage closets. If a fire or other disaster occurs, you’ll be left not only without the use of your building, but without the information that makes your company run. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as many as 93 percent of all companies that
suffer a significant data loss are out of business within five years.

2. Self-storage facilities or warehouses: These types of storage units, even the ones with temperature controls, simply are not designed for media storage. Think about it this way: Do you want your important files or data tapes stored in the same place you next door neighbor is storing all that paint he had left over after re-doing his garage? Or where your neighbor on the other side is storing all those leftover fireworks from Fourth of July 2011? And that $5 combination lock you bought at Target to lock up your unit might not represent the height of security.

3. Underground vault facilities: Obviously, this is a better option than self-storage, but there are still drawbacks in the event of a disaster. In the event of fire or natural disaster, your data will be sacrificed because emergency personnel will be denied access. And in the case of a power outage, human error, or act of sabotage your data will be equally vulnerable.

4. Bank vaults and safe deposit boxes: Believe it or not, bank vaults and safe deposit boxes are not fireproof or temperature- or humidity-controlled. The stagnant air inside will contribute to tape decay, and if there is a fire, you could easily lose your data to the intense heat. These are simply not good records storage options.

5. Large national or global one-size-fits-all records storage providers: Many of these giant records management companies pose the same fire and humidity related issues as the banks. You also may have a difficult time getting the service you need — not to mention that there usually are monthly fees and delivery surcharges.

The bottom line is that your best choice for offsite records storage is a local or regional facility that specializes in keeping media safe by storing it in climate-controlled, fireproof, above-ground vault or records center. That way, you not only always know where your records are, and that they are safely and securely stored and managed, but you can also get a more personal level of service and value for your investment.

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