Organizations need to tap into the unstructured data “treasures” to bridge the gap between data storage and data value.
By: Michael Jack, CRO, Datadobi
In today’s heterogeneous data storage environments, many IT leaders struggle under the weight of their ever-growing unstructured data. Organizational growth, mergers and acquisitions (M&As), and more have caused unstructured data volume to account for 90% of enterprise data today.
The obvious elephant in the data center and in the cloud is having hordes of data but not maximizing it to its full potential. By letting it sit without any action, businesses lose out on insight into customers, markets, business opportunities, competitors, organizational effectiveness, cost control, carbon footprint, risk exposure, and more.
The gap between collecting data and using it effectively should be filled by gaining proper insight into the nature of the data and its usefulness, dynamic organization of the data into meaningful categories, and placing the right data at the right time in the most appropriate location to be used effectively.
Although some rudimentary unstructured data management tools exist today, they are elastic band solutions that have grown up in a data world very different from current enterprise needs. This makes them so cumbersome that most companies do not have the time to implement them effectively. Even if they did, these tools cannot scale to today’s enterprise needs.
First and foremost, most current solutions cannot scale to the size or number of files that are being constantly collected. Petabytes of data and billions of files are now the norm in many enterprises and current tools are not built to handle this.
Secondly, multi-vendor/hybrid-cloud environments mean complex interoperability between different systems. These complexities make the movement of data between these systems a science project using current tools.
Then there is the concern for data integrity. Most enterprises live in a world of some form of regulation where data loss, data corruption, or data exposure, could cause serious business damage. Current unstructured data management tools provide nothing in the way of data integrity management.
And so the list goes on.
Luckily, there is a solution.
With the right tools, organizations can fill this gap and take control of their unstructured data and exploit its untapped value.
So, the best question to ask is not, “How can I claw my way to the top of my unstructured data pile?” Rather it is, “How can an unstructured data management solution make sense of my data and put it to work for me?”
Laying the groundwork is critical as is the close partnership between the enterprise and its services partners who can help identify and implement the company’s top priorities. Consider the following:
Unstructured Data’s Hidden Value Is Revealed When:
- Unstructured data becomes the fulcrum of enterprise-focused decision-making and is operationalized to yield its highest value.
- Enterprises are enabled to realize the value of their expanding universe of unstructured data through frictionless access, vendor-neutral, and infinitely scalable solutions.
- Unstructured data sources and types are combined for a broader enterprise view to yield deeper insights, and more—often unexpected—answers to multifaceted or hypothetical questions.
- Organizational data fabric is flexible enough to balance and meet the needs of individual business units alongside the greater enterprise needs.
- Enterprises enable a holistic view of their unstructured data (the sum of its siloed parts) by granting cross-organizational access.
- Cross-functional analysis sheds light on operational inefficiencies to be addressed, competitive insight to capitalize on, and future business opportunities to plan for while overall costs and speed to answers are reduced.
Realize the Unexpected Insights Your Unstructured Data Can Offer
- Unstructured data is your opportunity to have your finger on the pulse of your market. It can deliver in spades the benefit of monitoring your competition, industry influencers, and potential business partners like never before.
- All that unstructured data sitting on-premises or in the cloud can weave together a truly remarkable data story about the enterprise’s customers, products, and services to paint a vivid picture of its history and help inform future enterprise decisions.
Why Wait to Discover the Value of Your Unstructured Data
Regardless of industry, if not already underway, 2022 must be the year enterprise IT organizations pursue a comprehensive unstructured data management plan. Three guiding principles can positively change the trajectory of an enterprise inside of a year:
- Enlist outside expertise to understand their unique data and what opportunities await.
- Repurpose old data in new, innovative ways to radically extend its data lifecycle.
- Manipulate and stretch incoming new data in ways perhaps never thought possible.
Hidden Value Doesn’t Really Have to be Hidden
As IDC has cautioned, enterprise data is racing toward a predicted 175 ZBs of unstructured data by 2025. Surviving in today’s data-rich world means enterprises must recognize their competitive advantage and that their success lies within and hinges on utilizing their biggest asset—their unstructured data. Fortunately, enterprises can more fully exploit the hidden potential of their unstructured data by enlisting vendor-neutral, battle-hardened unstructured data management solutions. Doing so enables enterprise organizations to reign in complexity and extract maximum value from their unstructured data, whether it resides on-premises, remotely, and/or in the cloud.