5 data management tips from Gartner, Twitter and IT pros

A simple piece of advice can go a long way. We’ve all had the experience of turning over a minor concern in our heads until it becomes a major issue, but sometimes all it takes to dissolve that pit in your stomach is an outside perspective shining a light on the situation.

As the IT climate changes and companies deal with emerging security threats and operational pain points, a fresh outlook is more important than ever to calm escalating fears. After all, the most pressing fears originate from the unknown, and the more a team is armed with knowledge about its data, the more it’s prepared to combat threats. The following tips for smarter storage, data management and security are examples of perspectives that resonated with our audience in the last year:

1. Unstructured data isn’t a storage problem – it’s an intelligence problem.

IT teams are often tasked with managing the massive amounts of unstructured data stored by their companies. As Alan Dayley, Gartner analyst, highlighted in a 2013 report, storing this data and forgetting about it can introduce major security risks and create unnecessary operational costs. If teams can’t extract any intelligence from it, the data has virtually no value. Dayley suggests investing in analysis and e-discovery tools that provide visibility into unstructured data stores to help extract critical business insights and reduce extraneous storage costs.

2. Storage systems should take cues from the physical security world.

When dealing with home security and physical protection systems, the “things you can’t see and prepare for are often the most problematic and costly,” writes Paula Long, DataGravity co-founder and CEO. To decrease unknown threats in a parking lot, the property manager might add motion-sensor lights and security cameras, and set up automatic alerts when those cameras detect anomalies. According to Paula, “storage needs the same kind of illumination and alerting.”

3. To fit today’s IT landscape, outdated data management practices must evolve.

 Data growth is rampant throughout companies of all sizes. Growth rates are constantly increasing, while data is spreading throughout organizations and coming from new sources. Meanwhile, data management budgets are getting smaller. To keep their heads above water, IT professionals need to ensure their data complies with industry restrictions, and create new management practices that include audit trails, data security precautions and data retention efforts from the start.

4. If you’re looking for breaking industry news, start on Twitter.

While Twitter can feel like a deluge of information at times, it can also provide a direct link to expert perspectives that shape the IT field every day. Here, DataGravity Systems Engineer Gabe Maentz shares his 25 top picks for influencers to follow on Twitter. Add the list of journalists, analysts, bloggers, venture capitalists and more to your feed for unbiased, intelligent enterprise tech analysis.

5. When data management isn’t straightforward, IT professionals’ productivity takes a hit.

IT pros and systems administrators spend their days maintaining and troubleshooting servers, working to avoid the chaos that begins when systems go down in the middle of the night. From recovering files at 3 a.m. on Sunday mornings to conducting time-consuming audits, every situation on one IT pro’s top 10 list of complaints can be avoided – including wasted time, energy and anxiety – with solutions that make the data management process more data-aware.

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Jeff Boehm

Jeff Boehm

Jeff Boehm was the vice president of marketing at DataGravity for 2 years. Jeff brought more than 20 years of experience with a rare combination of marketing skills, organizational leadership and technical background to DataGravity, having shaped the BI and search markets working for industry pioneers and disrupters.