With businesses and consumers now more connected than ever and online a key area for many firms, one consequence of this is the amount of data that companies have to deal with is growing at an exponential rate.
According to a study conducted last year by Cisco, global IP traffic is set to hit 1.3 zettabytes by 2016 - four times as much as in 2012 - driven by more internet users and faster broadband speeds.
As a result of this, the storage and management of data is set to become a major challenge for enterprises, particularly less-sizeable businesses.
Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill Group, explained that for many firms, the amount of data they produce can be measured in the terabytes and petabytes, all of which needs to be backed up and stored so it can be accessed easily and quickly.
"It needs to be archived in case it is needed in the future and also for compliance reasons; and it needs to be replicated, so it's available for use in the case of a disaster," he added. "All this needs to be done cost-effectively and securely."
He also highlighted a recent survey by Symantec that estimated small and medium-sized enterprises can expect to see their data storage requirements grow by 178 per cent over the next year.
One good solution for coping with this suggested by Mr Kilpatrick was taking advantage of cloud databases. For many firms, he suggested this is likely to be a better option than traditional on-site tape solutions.
However, he noted there is no need to go all-in with this at once. Some companies could benefit from a hybrid database solution that combines local storage with cloud-based online backups. Mr Kilpatrick explained: "This option provides speed of access with the security of offsite cloud."
The expert noted being able to access and recover data quickly is vital, as he highlighted recent statistics that suggest 43 per cent of businesses that close after a natural disaster never reopen, with an inability to recover lost data that was only stored on-site one possible reason for this.