We live in the data age where the buzzwords are digital transformation, where unstructured digital data is doubling each year, and where Artificial Intelligence is going to provide the panacea for all our data ills.
Cloud has facilitated a rapid increase of not only new storage silos but also pseudo storage applications that create and use digital data be that documents or media related files. Examples are SalesForce, BaseCamp, Huddle, as well as a plethora of cloud related storage such as Office 365, GSuite, Box, DropBox etc.
What does this mean to companies ? It means they data they create and store is becoming increasingly difficult to get their arms around to make critical business decisions.
A simple example is one of a contract update. Where does the original live, and where is the the latest version ? Is it on SharePoint, Office 365, Jim’s email ? No, hang on, it may be in Salesforce and if it not there then perhaps its on someone’s laptop as we were doing the negotiation over Skype and it may not have been filed.
I’d defy many companies not to constantly be in this situation at some point during their week, and if you throw in shadow IT its easy to see that this problem is getting worse not better. We built multi-cloud content search into our File Fabric product to target exactly this dispersed data problem.
The other issue larger volumes of dispersed digital data creates is one of data governance. Storing data in disparate systems makes data governance and legislative compliance extremely difficult. Many companies believe that because they did their data analysis pre GDPR for example that they have their house in order but the reality is that legislative compliance of data in today’s world is a 24×7 / 365 real-time problem for corporate IT, as data needs to be monitored as it is used and consumed.
Additionally there is the real challenge of protecting that dispersed corporate data sprawl. It only takes one insecure system to facilitate an attack or even worse being locked out of accessing the data because of a Ransomware attack. Company reputation is hard won and easily broken in the event of a repudatory damaging breach, Ask Sony, Marriott, Quora, British Airways, Equifax, and…well I literally could go on and on listing companies, governments and institutions that have been hit lately.
The one indomitable fact is that data is growing, and it is growing rapidly, and it will continue to do so. In 1965 Gordon Moore made the observation that chip density would double every 18 months. IDC estimates the amount of data available doubles every two years, and it is speeding up not slowing down !
It is clear that companies need next generation Applications and Tools to not only harness the power of the data they are collecting, but also to protect and secure it. This can be done by trying to piece together pipeline workflows, add point security solutions, and creating integration projects to be able aggregate data, or a company could choose to use something like the File Fabric, which we have created at Storage Made Easy, to try and deal with these challenges and issues in a transparent non invasive way . The File Fabric unifies data sets to provide a platform for security, compliance and productivity (if your curiosity is piqued check out a two minute video here). Either way companies will need to embrace new methods to deal with organisational data growth over the coming months and years.