File storage is a burgeoning problem and the one that isn’t going away anytime soon. Did you know that less than half of all corporate data is stored on file servers? The figure is 46 percent, with the remainder being stored on desktops, smartphones and tablets, collaboration systems, in email systems, and on consumer cloud storage services.
For many enterprises this is a ticking time bomb. Such fragmented storage holds a very high risk and threatens a potential failing in legislative compliance, legal hold and e-discovery with severe financial penalties.
Other business risks include poor decision making. If the necessary data is not available within the necessary time frame then there are chances that any decisions that are made without it will be the wrong decisions.
Although email is growing exponentially, most of the stored corporate data is in the form of files such as Word documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, design data and other user generated content. Taking file storage and email storage together, while the majority of files tend to be stored on file servers that are managed by IT departments, many are stored on devices that are not controlled by IT, for instance laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, and consumer cloud services such as Google Docs either with or without the approval of IT.
While many organizations are adopting cloud based email archiving as a solution to their burgeoning email problems, fewer are turning to cloud based file archiving. Although email archiving is a natural place to enter the cloud, it is only one step in the right direction. In many ways it is illogical to have multiple archiving systems such as cloud based email archiving and IT managed file archiving. A much better approach is to adopt a single system that is able to manage email, files and every other form of electronic corporate data.
However the problems involved in achieving this should not be underestimated; file archiving can be more challenging than email archiving. A lot of the email resides on email servers, but files can reside on file servers, desktop computers, laptops and all other devices mentioned above. Although the ‘bring your own device’ policies adopted by many trendy organisations have their benefits, they have significant downsides too, and particularly in terms of the number of alternative locations for corporate data that should be archived.
According to an Osterman report sponsored by Mimecast, 37% of enterprise electronic data is in the form of email, 46% is stored on file servers; 12% on user desktop computers; 12% on collaboration systems; 10% on user laptops; 4% on tablets and smartphones; 2% on home computers; and 4% on a variety of other devices for instance on USB memory sticks.
Thus it is becoming increasingly clear that finding a complete archiving solution must be given high priority by enterprise boards which are otherwise risking stringent penalties imposed for failure to comply with regulatory requirements as well as facing potentially serious data security problems. Email archiving is a good start, but without file archiving it is less than half of the battle.