Keeping things organized

How to organize your data on online servers

Alex Briggs
© Shutterstock / Allexxandar

So you want to move your servers online. Good choice! But there’s a bit more planning and organizational choices than you might expect. Alex Briggs explains how you can make the best choices for your own company.

Companies of all sizes are moving their data online. It offers excellent benefits in cost efficiency and convenience that allows businesses to compete in a global market. The only issue, however, is that it takes an organized corporation to truly capitalize on all the advantages that online servers can provide.

Most business owners aren’t the technology experts of their companies, either. Owners are relying on information technologists to monitor these business functions; they’re expected to keep digital data organized and report on it in a way that allows everyone within the company to understand what it’s used for.

In an age where there’s more data available for businesses to utilize than ever, it takes a savvy tech-hand to organize that data and provide context for how it can benefit a business. And with the Cloud becoming a popular solution to data management, that organization is more essential than ever.

Pick a server you can communicate with

If your company is just beginning their dive into online data servers, picking a database that fits the current needs of the company and provides (at least some) scalability is important. You may not need an online-based database at all. This will all depend on an accurate assessment of the company’s current data and future growth plans.

But even more crucial is simply getting one that you can communicate with. For example, the differences an Oracle server and an MS SQL Server generally boil down to differences in syntax. If you’re the one who will be working on the server, make sure to steer the company towards a database you’re more familiar with.

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Understand the needs of your business

As an IT expert, the marketing and management teams of your company should be your best friends. They can keep you up to date on the goals of the company as well as allow you to understand what sorts of information will matter the most in allowing your business to succeed.

That’s crucial information. With their guidance, you will have a meaningful direction in mind when organizing your company’s data.

How to sort your organization’s data onto your server

  • What info can go onto the server? How many filing cabinets is your company still working with? An easy starting point is going through these cabinets and seeing what can be placed on your online servers. Many of these scannable documents are the sorts of information that are frequently passed around an office. By storing them online, you quicken that process, reduce office clutter, and give the copier a well-earned break.
  • Use folders – Folders aren’t exactly complicated. But the key here is to use folders and label them in a way that allows everyone within your organization to understand their use.

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Avoid any complicated names and ones that require a technical knowledge to understand. The goal here should be creating a simple hierarchy that fits the entire business.

  • File curation – Moving to a server provides a prime opportunity to evaluate all the information you have and remove parts that are no longer useful to your organization. This process makes the job of finding relevant information much easier. Companies generally pay for their online servers based on how much data they use as well. By cutting the unnecessary data, you’re saving your corporation money.
  • Secure your server – There have been various high-profile hacking attacks in recent years. Most companies aren’t large enough to need to worry about professional hackers working to steal their data. Nevertheless, it’s extremely important from an ethical and legal standpoint to do all within your power to keep clients’ and customers’ information safe.

This means ensuring that everyone who has access within the company to your server is responsible. Passwords should be complex and not something they use for any of their personal needs. You might even look into forms of encryption or SSH keys to minimize the risk to your data.

By effectively utilizing server-based systems for your business’ data organization, you’re setting your business up for streamlined information and communication. It simply makes everyone’s job more convenient. But with that said, data organization goes a long way towards making sure your company is ready to hit the ground running with their new system.


Alex Briggs

Alex Briggs is a contributing writer for Netreo.

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