Is data falling into a 'digital pocket' or a black hole?

Adrian Seccombe posted recently about losing his files in a ‘digital pocket’ which struck a chord with me because I was just glad that someone else has the same problem as me; you know the information exists but you just can’t...

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Adrian Seccombe posted recently about losing his files in a ‘digital pocket’ which struck a chord with me because I was just glad that someone else has the same problem as me; you know the information exists but you just can’t remember quite where you put it.

A recent analysis has shown that the world’s capacity for storage is now 295 exabytes, which equates to 404 billion CDs. That’s a lot of stuff and with the internet it can make for a pretty huge pocket. The report doesn’t talk about just how much of the storage is filled with data, or how much is repeated (i.e. not unique), but even so  there’s a lot of stuff out there and it’s still growing.

Archiving with full content indexing is how enterprises used to manage their data but this model needs updating. The way we work continues to evolve, and the corporate archive needs to embrace that change, not least if it is to remain defensible from a legal standpoint.  

This change won’t be without challenges and will blur the line even more between work and home data. The consumerisation of IT (bring your own PC, smart phone, tablet to work) not to mention the host of social networking sites mean that corporate policies need to change to protect the privacy of the individual and the corporation, and quickly.

Access controls need to be updated to become more intelligent, driven by the data and the context in which the request is being made, not just by the individual making the request for access.

In 2002, the amount of data stored digitally surpassed the amount stored in analogue form, and by 2007 almost 95 percent of all data that was stored digitally. That growth is not slowing. The issues, particularly around security and integrity, will worsen without some serious rethinking of how we are going to survive the digital onslaught in the future.

Guy Bunker, Jericho Forum board member

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