Data sprawl is a real menace of our time. Your business collects, processes, and stores a vast amount of digital data every day. To run your business operations efficiently, you must know what data you have, where it is stored, and who has access to this data. Without a comprehensive data management policy in place, the chances are, at some point, you will start losing track of your data. This situation is called data sprawl.

How data sprawl affects your business?

We tend to store our data on a variety of endpoints and servers. Sometimes we save them locally on the hard drives; the other times, we use a public cloud. Additionally, your employees may work on their own devices and store them on their local drive.

When the data is in use, all the concerned people know where it is stored and how to access it. But with time, it becomes challenging, even for the most efficient employees, to track the data. So, in the future, if you need to access the data, you and your team will be clueless about where to find it.

Data sprawl not only affects the productivity of your team but can also pose a threat to security. Your ex-employees may have access to the information they shouldn’t have, or one of your employees might get hold of a confidential document. It happens all the time when an organization experiences data sprawl.

People sitting together analyzing business to protect data sprawling

How to prevent data sprawl?

Only a well-planned data management policy can stop data sprawl. You can take a few steps to have greater control over your business data.

The first and most critical step is migrating your data to dedicated cloud storage. When you store all your data on a single cloud space, it is less likely to lose those data. Either get a private cloud, or you may opt for a hybrid model. Train all your employees to save their works on that particular cloud storage and not on some public cloud like Google Drive or One Drive. Besides, integrate the apps into your cloud storage. All these apps will then start saving their outputs on your cloud server.
Service providers like AiNET offer comprehensive cloud solutions. Their specially designed cloud services are suitable for enterprise-class storage and cloud computing.

After moving your data to cloud storage, the next step should be implementing a standard meta-data policy. Everybody has their style when it comes to naming the files or putting the description. It doesn’t help while you are storing business data. Train all your employees to follow a fixed rule while they save data on the cloud. It will be much easier to find a particular file if you know the exact name of the file. You can use automated data discovery and classification software to make things easy.

Also, make it a practice to remove duplicate and redundant data. These data not only occupy the storage space but also create confusion.

If your business is experiencing data sprawl or heading down this path, take the required measures immediately before it’s too late.