Unstructured data isn’t becoming out of control, it’s completely out of hand already.” The sheer volume of digital documents, such as images, video and audio files and all those familiar documents we all create within Microsoft Office keep growing at alarming rates with no signs of slowing down – it’s just getting worse. According to recent enterprise survey by Forrester¹;
“Forrester has seen a significant jump in the number of global data and analytics decision makers who reported storing more than 100 terabytes within their company data centers, from 30% in 2016 to 61% in 2017; 12% report storing 5 petabytes or more.”
IT folks should be concerned about what kinds of content all of their employees create, where it’s all going and who has access to it all.
Along with all of this unstructured data comes a sizable amount of risk that organizations are left to cope with as they strive to ensure that this data is managed properly and remains secure throughout its life cycle.
It’s not all bad news for the ever-increasing amount of unstructured data though, there are some positives here to analyzing all of this data. Among all of your data lies potentially useful client or product data, that once discovered, could lead to meaningful and valuable business insights that could spur competitive advantages for your company.
So, consider these questions when considering actions surrounding your data:
- When the last time you performed any kind of file analysis across all of your file shares, both active and retired?
- How much and what kind of sensitive data do you possess that is leaving your organization at risk?
- Is your current data discovery process integrated well into your overall process of managing content throughout its life cycle?
There are a number of use cases for organizations to act and select a vendor that can discover and analyze both unstructured and structured data and then apply policies and manage that content. Some of these use cases are as follows:
- Reduction in ROT: There is simply way too much redundant, obsolete and trivial data that organizations continue to store. Duplicate data that you no longer extract business value from is simply impeding your ability to find and use the good data.
- Sensitive Content Discovery: Identify and analyze common patterns to target personally identifiable information (PII) such as credit card data and government IDs to determine what sensitive data you have and where it resides.
- Ongoing Preservation and Governance: Regional and Global regulations, such as GDPR, are evolving and placing compelling measures on businesses to better understand and protect their data. Fines can be levied for non-compliance.
The business drivers are compelling for organizations to tackle their sprawling shared drives that could contain considerable risk and could potentially harm their brand name and reputation if certain sensitive data got into the wrong hands, either internally leaked of by theft.
Organizations need to look at vendors that meet all of the use cases around unstructured data. They should also consider their actions involving structured data and the complete life cycle of data.
ControlPoint from Micro Focus is File Analysis Software for unstructured data. It will help you gain visibility and understanding of business risk associated with content stored in enterprise systems and dark data. ControlPoint is part of the larger Secure Content management suite.
¹ Source: The Forrester Wave™: File Analytics Providers, Forrester Research, Inc., Q2 2018