More and more enterprises today are transitioning unstructured data to a more structured, manageable form so that information governance can be best integrated.
Why? Unstructured data is not relational and does not fit into pre-defined data models. The difference between structured and unstructured data may initially seem trivial, but a look at the vast volumes of information being stored in any given organization today immediately uncovers the challenge that lies at the root of the unstructured versus structured data conversation. Currently, the majority of data that plagues organizations today is unstructured and adds up to 70 to 80 percent, according to industry studies.
Unstructured data is typically controlled and managed by employees.
Much of this unstructured data is considered dark data because it is unclassified and not easily accessible by the organization. Dark data poses a growing cost, both from a storage and liability perspective, to an organization because it is considered a company asset and within an organization's scope of accountability and responsibility. Dark data exists throughout public and private sector companies due to employees hoarding information and using corporate systems to keep personal data, which adds vastly to ever increasing volumes of corporate data - albeit this particular data holds zero business value.
At this moment in time, organizations have amassed huge amounts of unstructured content siting in file shares and collaboration platforms, such as SharePoint.
This virtual labyrinth of information is resulting in massive data bloat, challenges in information management and increasing compliance risks. With the realities of increased and inevitable litigation, fines for noncompliance and increasing legal costs, organizations are forced to become more aware of the business risks associated with poor information management and records management.
The rapid growth of unstructured data is putting greater pressure on businesses.
File analysis and remediation practices are key components of an enterprise's digital transformation strategy, providing for the forensic analysis and categorization of unstructured data stores based upon inputs from corporate policies, records management, legal and best practice to enable organizations to understand information value, evaluate risk, and ensure compliance.
To succeed in identifying, understanding, and effectively managing unstructured content, enterprises must secure support from organizational leaders regarding the approaches to be implemented. People, process, and technology must all be considered holistically in order to effectively plan, manage, and execute programs that will empower an organization to best manage and appropriately govern unstructured content.
With the promise of governing unstructured data growing increasingly significant to enterprise functionality in the digital transformation age, information management and information governance tools, strategies and best practices will continuously push to deliver substantial data asset analysis and integrated, automated information governance.