Data growth has been driving change around storage and data lifecycle management within the industry for years. Analysts estimate that the amount of data produced globally more than doubles every two years- 1.8 trillion gigabytes in 500 quadrillion files. In Asia-Pacific, 72 per cent of organizations rate the exponential growth and increasing complexity of data as one of their top data management challenges. Such figures have led to revolutionary industry changes over the past decade - e.g. increases in storage platform capacity, "Big Data" - and have developed out of a necessity to store and manage these growing pools of data.
At the same time, the big volumes of data amassed by organizations also result in an increasing difficulty to easily retrieve the specific information organizations might need.
Knowing the value of data that is being gathered before storing it can have a significant impact on storage utilization, recovery objectives and underlying costs for organizations. In fact, data classification is the first critical step organizations should take to achieve their data storage and management objectives.
Retrieving data that matters
As the amount of enterprise data continues to grow exponentially, so does the storage capacity required to manage it. This is mainly due to the fact that most companies do not have a data management plan. They tend to capture and store all the data they own, even if it is redundant. Traditionally, high storage costs forced companies to be more careful about how and where they stored their data. Today, with capacity being more reasonably priced, the tendency to store everything without differentiating what is really important, creates challenges around knowing where to store different kinds of data and how to retrieve that data when needed.
The ability to easily search electronically stored data and provide accurate results instantly is critical for organizations, both for daily restore operations, as well as in urgent situations such as when specific data is needed to satisfy an audit or to answer for litigation. In addition to internal organizational compliance, enterprises must also contend with continuously evolving external regulatory requirements. Regardless of industry or sector, any corporate information generated within an organization may be subject to regulatory or litigation requests. The risks of non-compliance are significant, and can lead to legal, financial and reputation damage.
As a result, organizations have no other choice than to develop solid plans for the reliable retention of enterprise-controlled information.
Managing data efficiently
Developing and implementing the right data retention policy is a necessity for both internal data governance and legal compliance. Yet, not all data can be treated the same way. Some organizations' data need to be retained for many years, whereas there may be data that are required for just a few days; and some others may not need to be stored at all. Therefore, when setting up processes, it is important to identify the organization's most valuable data and prioritize storage management resources appropriately.
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