No one likes to be told they are being negligent about something. After all, in the age of information, it’s easy to learn everything you need to know to ensure you’re as informed as possible. However, when it comes to an organization’s documents, many companies are being negligent – and no amount of Googling “how to better organize my content” will solve their problem. It’s much bigger than that!
In a recent Gartner report, “How to Move From Data Negligence to Effective Storage Management,” (report #G00277042 for those of you with Gartner Subscriptions) there is a focus on a balance between good infrastructure and well-informed operations leaders. That is the prescription to negligent records keeping and storage management.
How can you make sure you’re on the road to data knowledge, not data negligence? It’s as easy as 1-2-3 (ok it’s not, but go with me here!). Here’s my interpretation of Gartner’s recommendations.
- Start With the End in Mind: Understand the Organizational Philosophy, Policies and Plans for Data.
Make sure you consider the plans for the entire organization, not just your department or business unit. Tough decisions need to be made about items such as data retention policies, defensible deletion, role-based access, security policies and more.
- Create and Present a Full Map of the Corporate Data to the Appropriate Parties.
It’s important to look at more than just the file statistics, but also metadata, operational statistics, text, flow, and more. Use intelligent file analysis software to determine the size of the problem – which is often 50%-100% bigger than estimated, according to Gartner.
- Map the Location of the Corporate Data: It's Moving to the Cloud.
As much as 50% of corporate data lives in the cloud, and the total amount of data increases year over year. Organization require an intelligent system to enrich metadata with location information, and keep it current as files are often moved around.
- Create a Full Security and Risk Assessment of the Data Footprint.
If an organization doesn’t know what content they have and where it is, their attempts at risk management are inherently flawed. They require a way to identify known entities, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and other security risks – and this is important – they need to be able to flag documents accordingly. We’re doing a lot of work, especially in financial services and energy/utilities around this issue these days – helping companies identify, for example, which contracts are on compliant templates, which ones have missing information, which ones are over/under critical thresholds, etc. All tricky stuff, made easier with file analytics and other technologies.
- Follow Through on Moving From Data Negligence to Data Knowledge.
How can you really be in the know? “Now is the time for action”, according to Gartner. Get the right tools, learn the right processes, and scour your content for every piece of data you can.
It may seem overwhelming, but no one is suggesting an organization can go from data negligence to data knowledge overnight. It will often take companies months or even years before they truly know what content they have, where it is, and what they should do with it.If your organization is working on this, and who isn’t these days, feel free to drop me a line for more information, or go straight to the horse’s mouth and engage with Alan Dayley, the analyst and author of this report. Tell him “Adlib sent you” and you’ll get twice the information!