Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Darkish information is a serious problem in enterprises, and it isn’t going away quickly. Luckily, there are methods to cut back darkish information and the dangers that include it.


Picture: Shutterstock/sdecoret

A method to have a look at darkish (or invisible) information is to consider the entire on- and off-premises paper information, closet- and shelf-based information, and some other kind of knowledge that hasn’t been digitized, and that staff cannot readily entry. Regardless of latest organizational efforts at digitization, there’s nonetheless an abundance of this hidden information floating round.

There may be additionally a broader, less complicated definition of darkish information: any information that you just do not need prepared visibility of. This may embody digital info that you just won’t pay attention to, corresponding to instantaneous messages and video name transcripts, or some other content material that has not been centralized in a searchable information repository.

“Darkish information is information that’s not underneath administration, or on a company useful resource the place it may be found,” stated Brian Remmington, CTO at Hyland, which offers enterprise content material administration options. “As soon as found, darkish information is not darkish information.” 

SEE: Navigating information privateness (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Through the COVID pandemic, many organizations have been working in extremely distributed and distant environments. This has boosted darkish information progress.

“Staff additionally use company-appointed laptops for every little thing from video calls to sharing paperwork and accessing e mail,” Remmington stated. “This creates an extreme quantity of darkish information that looms in firm storage. As well as, staff could copy centralized content material to their native laptops and never add it after altering it.”

Remmington believes that the issue with the rising quantity of darkish information will all the time be managing it and ensuring it is revisited and leveraged appropriately for enterprise intelligence and governance functions. Moreover, when staff depart the enterprise, enterprises danger a lack of mental property or company reminiscence by lacking darkish information.

How critical is the danger of not managing darkish information?

First, not having your darkish information underneath administration can create authorized, safety and compliance dangers. What if your organization is in a lawsuit and should get to this information as a part of the authorized discovery course of?

Second, not accessing darkish information can lead key determination makers into making the flawed selections for the group.

Third, important waste may result. This waste comes within the type of misplaced worker productiveness as a result of it is going to take them longer to seek for and acquire the knowledge they want. Storage prices additionally improve, as a result of storing information with out utilizing it’s wasteful.

Fourth, the darkish information downside contributes to enterprise information silos. “The primary goal must be discovering darkish information in order that it may be categorised and managed appropriately, and probably analyzed for enterprise intelligence,” Remmington stated. “One of many key issues to look at is how every silo of darkish information got here to be that method, and to determine processes and tooling that may assist forestall it from taking place sooner or later.”

One proactive method that firms can use to cut back darkish information is to create information safekeeping insurance policies for workers and prepare and retrain staff on these insurance policies.

SEE: Digital information retention coverage (TechRepublic Premium)

Audits will also be carried out to make sure that information (and information modifications) are synchronized between particular person work stations and central information repositories.

Each of those steps can assist to get rid of the “darkish holes” in enterprise info that darkish information creates.

“It may be some time earlier than darkish information disappears,” Remmington acknowledged. “However within the meantime, organizations ought to do their finest to deal with their information being created in actual time as they work by means of backlogs of information. In the long term, it will assist companies attain their targets.”

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