In my last post, I discussed the impending Big Data tidal wave and how human employees’ poor data handling practices and sentimental attachment to data has produced a drag on data consolidation project initiatives.
In this post, I’ll explain how IT organizations can resolve and manage this problem with incremental plans implemented over time, in a way that won’t crush anyone with administrative overhead and will provide a workable solution into the foreseeable future so this never happens again.
To begin, IT departments should implement the features and accounting structures built into all of their computing products, such as the accounting tools that no one, including me, likes to use. (I know, no one likes quotas or limits, and no one wants to pay for any space used beyond the original estimates – but people sure love to thin provision and hope for the best!)
Additionally, companies need to address the problem at both the enterprise and the user strata. To confront the end user perspective, IT organizations need to push data management practices that set clear expectations of what users must accept as a standard of conduct in the office.
For example, consider the policies of some theoretical facilities staff. They might stipulate that employees are allowed to use the storage room, but they’re not allowed store ten boxes of Xenix manuals from the 1990s. Perhaps employees can store two boxes, and after a year, the facilities staff will throw away any boxes that employees haven’t accessed, moved somewhere else for longer storage, or sent to the offsite warehouse.
These seem like reasonable policies, and IT staff would do well to embrace these same types of policies too. Unfortunately, conversations about data will be much harder and emotional than conversations about storage boxes. But we’re already knee-deep in big data, so it’s time now to initiate these difficult conversations.