Fifty percent of the data your company stores probably lacks business, legal and regulatory value. Worse, the total number of an average company’s unstructured data is growing at 60 to 80 percent per year. This data introduces costs and security risks to your IT environment, eats up space in your primary storage and prevents you from making business decisions based on data-driven insights. These issues may seem like inconveniences, but added together, they make dormant data a serious threat to your business and a major obstacle preventing you from transforming data insights into business value.
If this problem sounds familiar, you’re not alone. End users are notorious hoarders when it comes to file versions, disorganized filing systems and sticking with a save-it-all mentality. We can’t blame you for succumbing to the data deluge; the more dormant data you’ve piled up, the more of an undertaking it will be to sift through it, and the more you may begin to fear what lies beneath the surface.
It’s time to stop underestimating the nuisance created by dormant data and start recognizing it as a critical risk that must be addressed. You deserve to know what’s in your data. If you need help getting started, below are some steps that can help get you on track and bring your dark data into the light:
- Determine which users are consuming the most space
- Highlight which files haven’t been accessed in months, or even years
- Locate personal data like hefty music and video files that employees may have saved, even employees who may have since left the company
- Neutralize risks by locating and securing sensitive and private data
By leveraging data-aware technology, you can quickly visualize and filter files in order to determine their value. However, meeting these primary goals doesn’t mean your effort is over. Educate your team on best practices that help them understand the value of data and better manage its lifecycle, using strategies such as:
- Data retention policies
- Expiration dates
- Data visualization tools
- Routine archiving and data governance
When your dormant data is under control, you can better understand your end users’ habits and demographics, reduce your production storage footprint and overhead, and save resources like time and money. Most importantly, however, you can protect your data by addressing security risks before you give them a chance to take root.
Browse through DataGravity use cases to check out other ways data-aware storage management can improve your business.