Meeting compliance requirements for stored data has visibility in the C-suite and at the board level in many companies. Ineffective security for stored data puts companies at risk and exposes them to lawsuits and brand erosion. On many days, it may feel like a perfect storm of challenges, including:
- The growth and diversity of data originating from social media, the Internet of Things, mobile users, and other sources.
- Data stored not only in multiple locations, but also in a variety of formats and on various types of media, including tape, on-premises disk, off-site archives, private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds and even paper.
- Users and managers who aren’t aware of or don’t follow standard operating procedures for managing and storing data—complicated by the growing number of “shadow IT” initiatives that are falling out of the control of the IT department.
- Global business operations, which introduce local regulations that differ from country to country and industry to industry.
- Restrictive and stringent industry-specific regulatory requirements that prescribe severe penalties for organizations that don’t provide the proper safeguards to protect and secure customer data.
Dealing with these myriad compliance and governance challenges requires a comprehensive approach to data management that starts with data creation and extends through production to archiving and the eventual planned destruction and disposal of data. A data lifecycle management strategy enables organizations to manage compliance at each stage, specifying a range of technologies and services that can keep costs under control while mitigating the risk of noncompliance. These can include storage tiering, off-site media vaulting, cloud archiving, cloud data replication services and more.
Most organizations, however, simply don’t have the resources or in-house expertise required to understand the rapidly changing regulatory environment, particularly in highly regulated industries, such as healthcare, financial services and government. That’s why many organizations choose to partner with storage providers that can help them develop and implement a data lifecycle management plan that effectively addresses the challenges associated with unprecedented data growth, compliance and governance. The key is to work with a technology-neutral provider that offers a broad range of solutions, from on-premises and managed services to the cloud.
Working with a single point of contact for all your organization's compliance needs makes it simpler to:
- Develop a comprehensive strategy that incorporates a holistic view of data handling at every stage of its lifecycle, providing context to the overall plan.
- Design, build and execute practical, legally sound data management policies that cover all data and all locations, including data that is stored in the cloud.
- Train employees to understand and follow the policies, practices and procedures necessary to remain compliant.
- Reduce costs by ensuring that data is stored in the most cost-effective location and media at each stage of its lifecycle, while also consolidating management functions and eliminating redundant systems.
- Prepare for the future with a flexible data lifecycle management plan that adapts easily to updates and revisions to major compliance mandates. This type of structure and flexibility makes it easier for the business to expand into new geographic markets and industries, make acquisitions or confront the reality of escalating customer privacy demands.
Companies experiencing digital transformation, regardless of organization size or industry, are faced with compliance management challenges. IT teams are becoming more integrated with the business and play a key role in the protection and preservation of data as defined by regulatory and industry standards. Working with an expert partner to define the data lifecycle can provide an edge in containing storage costs, ensuring compliance and directing resources to strategic business growth initiatives.