6 Data management must-haves for every IT pro
Data management is part of every IT professional’s job. To do it effectively, you need to cover all of the bases concerning the data in question. Below are some of the key considerations for every data management strategy. Each one is vital for ensuring the security and integrity of your company’s critical information.
- Location: Knowing where your data is at any given time is an important part of protecting that information. You need to be able to identify and inventory all of the places where data resides within your organization, including data centers, remote offices, servers, virtual machines, virtual desktops, mobile devices or the cloud.
- Availability: Can your organization maintain data availability for employees and customers, even in the event of an infrastructure failure, natural disaster or other business interruption? This includes operating backup sites from which data can be quickly recovered if needed. Critical IT operations and applications must continue to be available for users, or restored quickly in the event of an outage.
- Security, privacy and compliance: How well protected is your most sensitive information – and the systems that hold such data? This is not just a matter of having firewalls in place to protect your perimeter, and access controls to ensure that only authorized and authenticated users can gain entry. You need to ensure that data itself—especially sensitive data, such as customer information—is protected via encryption whenever possible. It’s also important to be familiar with relevant regulatory compliance requirements for data and systems.
- Ownership: Do you have clearly defined data owners within your organization for the various sets of data located throughout your IT infrastructure? And can these individuals make decisions regarding the business value and sensitivity of the data, and the need to retain or destroy the information? Without clear determination of ownership, there can be no real accountability for data management.
- Stakeholder collaboration: In addition to data owners, who are the key stakeholders across the organization with a vested interest in healthy data management? What sort of relationships do these individuals have with one another in terms of ensuring the best data management practices are in place? Effective collaboration among all parties is important. Some of the key areas of the company that should be involved include IT, security, human resources, legal, risk management and compliance teams, in addition to line-of-business users.
- Retention and deletion: Is there a data retention policy or process for determining which data can be deleted and which must be retained for legal, regulatory, operational or historic purposes? Given the vast amounts of data organizations are gathering today, this is a significant consideration that needs to be addressed.
These are just a few key pieces in the data management puzzle. Others include data auditing, monitoring, metrics, process, retrieval and indexing. The key point to remember is that data can be an extremely valuable corporate resource. How well it’s managed goes a long way toward determining just how much value data delivers to your organization.
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