I’ve been listening to an audio titled “The 80/20 Principle” by Richard Koch. The program primarily discusses how to successfully apply the 80/20 principle to your life, work and more. As I’ve been listening, it occurs to me that the 80/20 is readily apparent in the world of technology. For example, it’s estimated that :

  • Users only use 20% of the software functionality. It may be that the users truly don’t need the functionality but I’d guess that this low use of functionality is due to the result of lack of awareness of the capabilities, the lack of training on the software or both.
  • 80% of the time, only 20% of the computing power of a PC is actually used.
  • 20% of data storage on servers is active; the remaining 80% is static, older data that could easily be archived or removed without significantly impacting the business.

And I could go on. I’d like to focus on the last item in particular, as an IT consultant I am constantly evaluating the backup needs of our clients. As indicated above, we estimate at least 80% of their data is not actively in use. As a result, a lot of time, energy, and IT resources are spent protecting and backing data that has low value to the business. This becomes a huge problem when you scale the business and the data it creates up to a large corporate level. Over the past 10 years, the need for file management software has become a requirement for large corporations and is slowly becoming a pressing need for SMBs. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to come across a solution that scales nicely to SMB environments and budgets.

I’m confident that an affordable file management solution will become available to SMBs but in the interim, if you are an SMB, you don’t need to wait patiently. By employing some simple file management techniques, companies can effectively manage their data storage and growth and at the same time, manage their data backup needs. For example, creating a file structure that incorporates some type of date stamp will allow older data to be more readily be archived. Annually, the oldest data can be migrated to an archive directory, still available for reference but unable to be changed. At that point, a couple of backups of the archived data may be created and retained. The regular daily backup process can then be adjusted to omit this static data. By making this simple change, your data backup process becomes more efficient.

Want more ideas? Ask me! Have an idea of your own, please share it with me! I’m always looking for ways to do things better or learn new things.