Instead of talking about the traditional costs of data management, what if the discussion became broader and more holistic? In the age of Big Data, IT professionals and CIOs are increasingly tasked with taking more comprehensive views of their organisations’ data. This requires them to evaluate not just the buy-in costs of data management, but also the potential costs and risks of managing data incorrectly. It also forces them to focus on various aspects of the data life cycle, from the time data is first created until it outlives its usefulness.
Shrinking Costs by Shrinking the Data Footprint
Data is in a time of growth explosion, with organisations accommodating Big Data along with their traditional data sets. The cost to manage, store and protect all of this information can be costly and time-consuming.
One challenge that increases data management costs is what many call dark data–structured and semi-structured files that do not easily fit into database systems. Just look at most organisations’ servers and shared drives — it is common to see the same files saved multiple times in different locations. There are also files that are created once and left dormant for years without being accessed. Are they still important? Maybe not on a daily or weekly basis, but the organisation may need to keep them to meet legal or regulatory compliance needs.
Archiving for Better Management and Lower Costs
Many of an organisation’s files can and should be archived and offloaded to a less-costly storage medium; many more should be completely deleted. Often called ‘digital hoarding’ or ‘data bloat,’ the practice of keeping unnecessary data in storage or on servers puts an added strain on an organisation’s power, facilities, staffing maintenance and acquisition costs.
Why pay for more primary storage than necessary? TechTarget notes that as much as 40% of an organisation’s data could be archived, while another 30% could be deleted outright. By taking the time to archive and clean house, organisations can better manage their storage costs and regain valuable space. Beyond efforts to separate the data wheat from the chaff, data management deduplication software can also be used to safely remove duplicate data sets.
How much are you spending to manage your data? Take the interactive costs calculator quiz to find out!
You can also read Part Two of this blog, here.