Guest Column | August 8, 2022

Tips For Arming Organizations With The People And Tools Needed To Manage Unstructured Data

By Carl D’Halluin, Databodi

GettyImages-1081869356 data

Organizations today have two big problems: they have a petabyte-scale amount of file and object storage data known as unstructured data and no one to help manage it.

Unstructured data can be up to 90% of enterprise data and is growing at a rate of 55% to 65% each year. The environments unstructured data sit in are also constantly evolving. Gone are the days when IT leaders solely focus on managing on-premises data. Now, they are increasingly juggling massive data storage estates with multiple components across the cloud and on-premises.

As a result, the IT job skills, tools, and training requirements required to work with unstructured data have changed dramatically from years ago. Making matters even worse is the long-discussed tech talent gap which “The Great Resignation” has only made worse. As of spring 2022, only 16% of IT workers aged 19-29 planned to remain in their jobs.

Ever-changing job roles combined with the emergence of The Great Resignation and new technologies requiring a more advanced skillset have compounded the struggle to find individuals capable of dealing with the complexity of unstructured data management needs. The following tips can assist business leaders and IT professionals in hiring qualified candidates and also how to keep unstructured data in check.

Qualities Of Today’s Top Unstructured Data Professionals

It goes without saying that a company's success is inextricably connected to its employees. A recent survey from Harvard Business Review showed that 71% of business executives believe that employee engagement is a key contributor to their success. A highly engaged workforce can positively impact productivity, innovation, bottom-line performance, etc. Consequently, given the ever-growing importance of unstructured data, enterprise recruiters must aggressively pursue, enable, and retain top IT talent.

However, many recruiters admittedly struggle with selecting potential candidates with the required qualities amid the ongoing labor shortage. Ideal employees, at a minimum, should display problem-solving skills, the ability to think critically under pressure, and the enthusiasm to persevere. Candidates should also be familiar with the latest trends in unstructured data management as well as recent advances in data management technologies that measure factors such as quality assurance, risk assessment, account management, and security features.

Valuable Intuitive Skills:

  • Recognizing data protection strategies - A company's biggest fear is data loss. The ability of a team member to understand how to defend themselves from data loss and mitigate threats like ransomware, human error, insider maliciousness, phishing attacks, and more is critical to their success.
  • Understanding Data Classification and Data temperature - Throughout its existence, data may be classified using a multi-temperature scale. Hot data is the most frequently visited, warm data is the least frequently viewed, and cold data is the least frequently accessed. Business standards are frequently used to classify data, and this differs per company. Understanding how to classify unstructured data is crucial for an employee to succeed in the field.
  • Data residency and regulatory requirements - Given the variety of privacy standards throughout regions, services that process personal data should be designed to accommodate regional disparities. Employees familiar with data residency can assist in meeting legislation and customer expectations.
  • Understanding and knowing how to monitor cloud bills - Because cloud billing is complicated and dynamic, it becomes easy for companies to accumulate unnecessary expenses. An employee’s ability to recognize the need to minimize cloud expenses is a valuable asset.
  • Defining thresholds and alarms – The ability to infer the current state of the organization’s data and applications is critical in helping the team respond to issues and make improvements to the systems in place.
  • Optimizing a cost-effective cloud deployment - The capability of an employee to maximize a cost-effective cloud deployment leads to increased team productivity.

Organizations Cannot Rely On Employees Alone To Manage Unstructured Data

As highlighted above, companies are no longer only overseeing the management of databases. The complexity of today’s modern data storage estate has system administrators increasingly managing numerous programs in the cloud. Understanding your cloud storage is not straightforward, and it differs significantly from the cost structure of on-premises data center storage.

To cope with hybrid cloud architecture, keep storage costs low at all times and make up for the talent gap that The Great Resignation has caused, organizations need the assistance of a comprehensive, vendor-neutral unstructured data management solution now more than ever.

How The Right Unstructured Data Management Tool Enables IT Professionals

Because of the size of today's heterogeneous storage environments, businesses must utilize comprehensive, agile tools to manage their unstructured data quickly, safely, and securely across their entire data storage estate. Choosing the right company and product to undertake unstructured data management projects can be the difference between success or failure in spring boarding your company into today’s data-driven world. Qualities to look for in an unstructured data management vendor include:

  • Mechanisms to guarantee data integrity before, during, and after a project
  • Shorter project times
  • Machine learning technologies to reduce the chances of human error

With the right unstructured data management tool, your team will always know where to locate needed information and how to use it and assist your team in better understanding the organization’s data, reducing risk, and delivering guaranteed accuracy.

Unstructured data is the pulse of today’s thriving enterprises. With ongoing labor shortages, companies must attract and retain the right talent to handle the enterprise’s unstructured data. Implementing an easy-to-use, comprehensive, state-of-the-art unstructured data management solution can eliminate productivity gaps but also become a recruiting selling point for potential employees because of its enhanced productivity impact. Putting excellent tools in the hands of employees empowers them to be successful key contributors. The result? Higher job satisfaction and retention. Further, every department that touches the better-managed data also reaps the benefits of higher quality data and spreads it across customers and partners. Successful enterprise IT leaders know that forward-thinking decisions on data management solutions and unstructured data management tools future-proof their enterprise.

About The Autor

Carl D’Halluin has been building cloud and storage software for 20 years. He has made notable contributions to protecting and manipulating unstructured data, building highly scalable and secure storage systems, and enabling metadata-driven insights and automation. Each is a cornerstone of the Datadobi business and technology. Carl owns many patents in this domain. He was instrumental in the growth and acquisition of storage companies Amplidata and Q-layer. Carl also worked at EMC Centera, where he architected the world’s first commercial object storage system. Carl has a double Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering (KU Leuven, Belgium) and in Mathematics (UC Berkeley, California).