Image by Markus Spiske
With data often described as the ‘life-blood’ of modern businesses, managing and protecting it is vital. IT staff face growing pressure to improve data security, management processes and organisational compliance.
Furthermore, data is growing at a rapid rate. Businesses are seeing their own challenges associated with the growth of data. It puts pressure on storage capacity and creates a headache for IT staff trying to cut risk and prevent threats like ransomware.
But where is all this data coming from?
For most businesses, this is complex and difficult to answer. Additional systems are put into place as businesses grow, implement new modules, or look to improve efficiencies. These new solutions are constantly creating data, often in varied formats, adding further complexity. It can be nigh on impossible to centralise these new data sources and manage them all easily.
With the need to access data on a 24/7 basis and avoid large upfront capital expenditure, they are increasingly looking to the cloud for new solutions. Meanwhile, IT staff must be wary of the catastrophic consequences of a ransomware attack infecting their networks and causing extremely expensive downtime.
With the increase in cloud applications being used, data management is becoming more complex and fragmented. IT staff need to have a greater understanding of numerous and disparate systems. The time taken to manage multiple systems is inevitably on the rise. Combined with greater industry and state regulation of data management, e.g. GDPR, this has led to a need for a more strategic approach to managing data which should take into account retention of data, location of storage and, ideally, management by exception.
The future of data management
As businesses look to improve data management processes and prepare for the future, there are core issues that must be addressed:
- Data must be accessible and in more than one location, catering for remote users and non-office-based users
- Speed is vital, as there will be a cost of downtime
- Securely storing, managing, and protecting data must form a complete process that can be effectively managed by staff and can be reported on to assist with the demonstration of compliance
Promoting digital literacy across the organisation and harnessing data technologies are other key focus areas for businesses in preparing for the future.