Sharing and storing information is a part of every business. Each day there is data that needs to be accessed quickly and easily, such as contact, order and inventory information. The most common tool in this age of technology is a database.

What is a database?

In the days before computers, a customer’s information might be kept on an index card or in a folder in a file cabinet. When you needed the information, you physically pulled the file from the cabinet. A database is essentially this kind of information storage in a digital form. Because it is a digital format, much more information can be stored, and that information can be accessed and sorted quickly.

What is a distributed database?

Up until recently, most businesses used a local form of database. This is a database where the electronic storage happens at the business’ facility either on local computers or a server maintained by the business. We often hear about a company’s database when there has been a data breach. Private customer information has been stolen or shared without permission. Businesses that maintain local databases can be at a higher risk for security issues because they do not have the resources to keep up with the growing threats to their system’s security.

A newer database option is a distributed database or cloud database. Here the data will be distributed and backed up over a network of servers that are maintained by an outside provider. A cloud-based database has the advantage that data can be easily accessed by a mobile workforce. Data is also protected in case of a natural disaster or equipment failure at the business’ location. The provider is also able to devote more resources toward data security.

How can Database as a Service help your business?

As the market for cloud database technology expands, there are more service providers available to businesses. Database as a Service, or DBaaS, gives some important advantages, especially to small and medium-sized businesses. Some of those advantages are:

  • Data is distributed. Your information is not held on any one server but distributed over a network, allowing for mobile access and data safety.
  • The data is maintained by the service. You are not responsible for understanding the technology or maintaining it. Instead the maintenance of the system is done by the service provider.
  • The data is secure. The service provider takes the responsibility for keeping your data safe. They can devote more resources to security issues and are able to respond to threats faster than a local business.
  • Businesses can access advanced technology at a lower price threshold. Using a DBaaS provider can connect your business to advanced analytics and technology provided by the service. This kind of data analysis and interpretation used to be only available to larger businesses employing a full IT department.
  • DBaaS can give better results at a lower price. When you are able to remove the cost of maintaining in-house servers and business hours lost to equipment downtime, DBaaS is a less expensive option for smaller businesses in the long run.

Every modern business has to deal with storing information. Your data needs to be both safe and accessible. You may find that a cloud database is the best option for your business.