In business, there’s a lot of pressure for small business owners and other entrepreneurs to reduce costs wherever and whenever it is possible. This is especially true during the start-up phase, as multiple demands arising from the day to day operation of the business compete for the company’s scarce resources, especially its cash.
Are You Really Saving Anything if Cutting Corners Results in Data Loss?
One area where owners and managers are tempted to cut corners to save a few dollars is with their company’s hardware. It’s not uncommon for these cash strapped businesses to source their cables, connectors and similar pieces of modern office equipment as cheaply as possible.
To the naked eye, a NewNex cable may look the same on the outside as other cheaper cables; but less expensive cables are often made of inferior materials that are not durable or secure.
The trouble with buying the cable that costs the least is that businesses that use hardware that is poorly made are genuinely putting the security of their data at risk. Throughout the course of any given day, your company’s hardware is involved in countless transfers of data. The corruption, or complete loss of any of your files can make it difficult, if not impossible, for your business to operate smoothly and efficiently.
Taking steps to prevent the loss of data due to mechanical failure is just as important of a concern for small businesses as protecting business systems from hackers.
The Problem with Cheap Cables and Connectors
According to research conducted in 2014, the EMC® Global Data Protection Index, data loss and its related downtime, cost businesses all over the world over $1.7 trillion dollars each year.
Cables and connectors are responsible for transmitting bits of data at high speeds every day. Unexpected hardware failure is one of the leading causes of data being lost as it is transferred between two components. The following are a few ways cheap, poorly made cables and connectors increase the risk of data loss due to hardware failure.
The thickness, or gauge of the wires inside of the cable sheathing, affects how well data is transmitted across the length of the cable. When wires do not contain enough copper, data will not move in smooth and reliable flow, especially at higher transmission rates.
Resistance also increases as the length of the cord increases, so, when connecting components together with cables greater than 2 meters in length, users need high grade cables that are constructed of wire that is of a thicker gauge to overcome the increase in resistance.
A thinner, low gauge wire, which is typically found in low cost cables, is more prone to breakage, and can become easily damaged during the installation process, or as the wire shifts in position over time.
High quality cables use higher gauge of wire that resist breakage. When breakage occurs, transmission rates sharply drop, or cease altogether, resulting in an inconsistent or broken connection and lost or corrupted data.
Strength and Flexibility
Typically, lower cost cables are sheathed with plastic like materials that are less pliable and flexible than those found on higher quality cables. When the sheathing is too stiff, it increases the potential for failure at the point of entry for the connector.
Cheaper cables may also be sheathed with plastics that are too thin, and overly pliable, which increases the chances that the sheathing may easily become nicked, scratched or otherwise removed, increasing the chance of interference from the surrounding environment.
Cables that are made of high quality materials are sheathed with thicker, higher grade plastics that securely protect and insulate the copper wire inside the cable, while remaining flexible enough to provide secure connections between components.
Understanding the True Cost of Cable
The security of sensitive demographic data about your clients, records of your sales transactions, payroll data, contracts and other important documents are all at risk when you use cables that are poorly made. The loss of any piece of critical business information could be the difference between experiencing sustainable growth, or, suffering a loss that results in the closure of your company.
High quality cables and other hardware usually cost a few dollars more per component, but since the cost of data loss is so high, it is an investment that most business owners will make once they understand the true costs of what is at stake.