You do not need an analyst report to know that your company is swimming in a massive pool of unstructured data and the floodgates have been breached. How you choose to stay above the flood can dramatically impact your company’s ability to:
- Be agile to meet the competition
- Make data-driven decisions instead of guessing
- Maximize the return on your assets
- Fine-tune your infrastructure to ensure the efficient processing of data
- Properly align infrastructure costs with efficient data processing requirements
- Ensure that you are meeting data regulatory requirements
The Problem. Unfortunately, most companies do not have the tools necessary to manage the majority of their unstructured data (IDC projects that 80% of all data will be unstructured by 2025). As a result, most unstructured data gets created and placed on a company share (typically expensive T1 storage) for collaboration purposes and it is left unmanaged. For the most part, there is a lack of insight into exactly what is the unstructured data that is being stored, what is its value of it to the organization and is it being managed accordingly.
With many of the customers that I speak to this problem drives them up the wall. Most of the time they are flying blind as to what exactly is out there on their file shares, and those file shares are doubling in capacity every 2 to 3 years and the refresh cost of their Tier 1 storage, backup and network infrastructure costs is skyrocketing. Also, the amount of productivity that is lost due to the fact that the data is not being managed and it is difficult to find it, which lessens the value of that data to the company. What I have heard is that there is a lot of pressure on IT to make sense of their infrastructure and more often than not, there is a belief that “we can just move all of it to the cloud, and everything will be all right!” Well Dorothy, I hate to break it to you, but we aren’t in Kansas anymore.
While cloud storage can have some very attractive pricing options, and on-premise object storage is another great option, but migrating it to these storage options still doesn’t address a fundamental problem. . .you still do not know anything meaningful about this unstructured data and you might be causing more problems than you are fixing. There really is no getting around it, but you need to begin with assessing the value of the data to your company, for example, some questions you might ask:
- Is it a critical asset from which the company can derive by processing it in a timely fashion to increase revenue, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction?
- Is it a critical piece of information from a regulatory perspective?
- Is it a critical piece of information from an IP perspective?
Of course, these are super high level, off the top of my head value criteria questions, but they can they are informative in helping to demonstrate the need to assess the value of the data so that you can manage it efficiently and effectively. Essentially, proper management of this data to get the most value from is based upon whether you can deliver: 1) the right data, 2) at the right time, 3) to the right location 4) in the right format. As you can see, the first step in developing a data management strategy and building an efficient infrastructure starts with that critical first step, identifying the right data because “all data is not created equal”.
A holistic approach to the problem. As stated above, determining what the right data is only one piece of the solution and there are plenty of tools (some better than others) to search through data to determine if it is the right data. But there is only one company that has developed a holistic unstructured data management platform that provides all of the services necessary to deliver all of the 4 building blocks. The Data Dynamics Hub software platform was built organically and incorporates two solutions: Insight AnaltiX for data optimization and StorageX for infrastructure optimization to give companies all the tools necessary to not only accurately identify the right data, but to effectively manage it and the necessary infrastructure to support it.