Through 2018, the structured data management software market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 7.82 percent. That’s the word from research firm Research and Markets and shouldn’t come as a surprise — the volume of data generated moment to moment has companies looking for the most efficient way to handle, store, access and eventually discard corporate information. But big data presents big challenges. Here are the top five to watch in 2015.
According to a recent survey from AIM Software, regulatory compliance was listed as one of 2014’s biggest data management headaches and will only become more pronounced through 2015. Forty-three percent of companies surveyed said regulation was their top challenge, while accessing funds to support data management strategies came in at 35 percent.
In 2015, businesses can expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to further increase the amount of information available for collection; this higher volume will also come with greater compliance demands, especially as digital consumers take increased ownership of their own data.
Solving this challenge means investment in a data management solution that builds in compliance, rather than forcing companies to design ad-hoc solutions after the fact.
Another big challenge for data management? Fragmentation of sources. Data is no longer generated in a single, unbroken line, or quantifiable using traditional analysis methods. With the influx of social media conversations, real-time communication services and the veritable fire hose of data that is IoT, it’s easy for companies to get bogged down.
The first step to addressing this challenge is unifying data streams where possible. Consider communications — using a cloud-based, hosted PBX or similar solution, it’s possible for companies to create standardized data sets. And with standardization comes simplified management: applied across enterprise networks, this kind of aggregated sourcing will prove invaluable.
The emerging data library
As noted by Tech Republic, businesses will soon face a new challenge in data management: collection. This goes beyond grabbing every piece of information generated, since even using cold storage and cloud services, it’s not possible — or reasonable — to keep every byte. As a result, “libraries” will emerge, collections of data that companies need immediately or can be repeatedly referenced for later use.
Solving this challenge demands human talent in form of data analysts and curators. Equal parts science and art, building out these data libraries means identifying data that is useful in the present and necessary for the future.
Who needs access to your data? Who has ultimate control over data management decisions? The next big challenge for companies in 2015 is intelligently handling access. In many organizations, the CIO or CDO is tasked with handling data life cycles but can’t do the job alone. IT professionals, front-line employees and even executives may all require access — and many rely on mobile devices. This means companies must find a way to ensure total security without arbitrarily limiting access.
There are two ways to tackle this problem. First is limiting the number of admins who have complete access to data management tools. Next, companies must educate data-savvy users in the art of effective password creation. Reporting on a recent survey, Enterprise Apps Tech found that forgetting passwords can cost companies more than $150,000 dollars per year. When it comes to data management, this lack of access can cripple effective information handling.
Going off site
Data management in the cloud? The idea is gaining ground but comes with a unique set of challenges. While the need for cloud-based storage will soar in 2015, the market is short on data management products specifically designed to harmonize with cloud services. As a result, companies may need to work closely with a cloud service provider (CSP) that can help translate their in-house data strategies across network barriers.
In addition, data handling is a critical consideration. What kind of access does your CSP require, and how is your data encrypted? Meeting this challenge means taking a hard look at your cloud contract and making sure data responsibilities are clearly outlined. Ownership, permissions and expectations must all be defined.
Expect steady growth in the data management market through 2015, along with a number of critical challenges. With the right strategy, however, companies can ensure they stay ahead of the curve.
Sheldon Smith is the senior product manager at XO Communications, the premier provider of network management and data management solutions for enterprises nationwide, specializing in SIP trunking and other unified communications services. Due to Sheldon’s extensive background in the unified communications space, he has complete ownership of the hosted PBX and conferencing products at XO Communications.