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Local business losing control over data

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The rise of cheap cloud based storage combined with on-premise solutions can result in data fragmentation, and thus create a significant risk for local businesses to lose control over their data, says HEINO GEVERS, Mimecast Security Specialist.

For many, this statement would be better suited to a corporate horror story than the circular life of local enterprise. In today’s knowledge economy, access to raw data and the exploitation of the valuable insights contained therein are absolutely critical to success. Without a deep understanding of business processes and how they relate to one another, progress can be difficult to achieve.

According to a recent study conducted by Freeform Dynamics on corporate storage and the dynamics of information, the primary culprit is data fragmentation.

Exponential growth in information and the services designed to control it has created a unique situation for many corporates. With so many data repositories both on premise and in the cloud, organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to control and monitor the flow.

The rising popularity of free online storage systems such as Dropbox has exacerbated the problem. Increasingly, corporate employees are using personal repositories to maintain easy access to business information on the go.

This trend has not only led to increased risk, but is simultaneously making it difficult for business to use vital information to its strategic advantage. Disparate systems, conflicting document versions and compliance issues have resulted in complex and perilous data environments that only hinder fluidity.

A complex and restrictive storage ecosystem can have far reaching consequences. In the event of a legal claim or process, a business lacking a unified and well established storage facility might find it challenging to retrieve the necessary documentation required to prove innocence.

Situations such as these have the capacity to cripple an organisation resulting in lost revenue and potential redundancies.

Although cloud services are part of the problem, they also have the capacity to facilitate a solution.

A more structured approach to these offerings may be the answer. By embracing a secure and unified information management system, organisations could potentially reduce the risk of data fragmentation and data leakage by a large margin.

The technology certainly exists: it’s simply matter of identifying a fitting solution and implementing it throughout the enterprise environment. In order to minimize the significant dangers associated with disparate storage, it would be prudent for South African entities to reevaluate their data storage policies.

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