Organizations look to external environments to manage data

The big data phenomenon is transforming how organizations approach information security, storage and other fundamental management projects. In the past, companies would keep all of their sensitive resources on-site in an effort to ensure their safety, as managing in-house data centers meant IT teams could directly monitor confidential assets. As unstable macroeconomic conditions continue, however, leaving everything on-site is no longer an affordable option.

A recent Gartner report highlighted how organizations are migrating personal data to outsourced IT systems, including cloud computing environments managed by a third party. In fact, analysts believe that 90 percent of businesses will move sensitive information to architectures they do not own or control by 2019.

"As the amount of personal information increases multifold, individuals and their personal data will increasingly become a security target. And, yet in most scenarios the organization is still ultimately accountable for the personal data on its IT systems," said Carsten Casper, research vice president at Gartner. "The time has come to create an exit strategy for the management of personal data."

By using the cloud, businesses can reduce the maintenance costs of keeping information on-site without necessarily introducing any security problems. This means enterprises can keep confidential data at arms length and still have control over the resources.

Building a cloud plan
Similar to other IT projects, however, organizations cannot simply implement the cloud on a whim. Gartner suggests that executives start by categorizing information by sensitivity levels. In doing so, businesses can separate how they want to manage those assets, as some may require the attention of more robust security tools.

A separate Network World report highlighted how data center managers should understand which cloud models are most appropriate and how using the hosted environments will change internal operations. In many cases, leveraging the cloud will free up time for IT staff, allowing employees to focus on other mission-critical tasks besides data management.

Decision-makers should also understand how to use the cloud to meet short- and long-term expectations, Network World noted. By building an objective-based deployment process, organizations can be sure their use of external IT systems does not compromise their ability to meet other critical goals.

As the big data movement continues to make its way through the business world, executives need to understand how using outsourced technologies can introduce significant cost and performance benefits and will eventually become the norm for data management.

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