How to Get Ahead of the 4 Biggest Challenges of Data Growth

In 2018, the IDC made a bold prediction: the world’s data would reach an astounding 175 zettabytes by 2025. A zettabyte is a billion terabytes, which makes this number almost incomprehensible. Rapid data growth presents a number of problems for businesses in 2020 and beyond.

The data explosion we’ve seen in the 21st century has been compared to the gold rush of the 19th century or the oil boom in the 20th. The problems that emerge range from logistical issues to political ramifications, and there are both organizational challenges and easily missed opportunities. Let’s take a closer look.

The 4 Challenges Data Growth Presents in 2020

1. Costs of Data Storage

One of the first and most obvious economic impacts of data growth is the increased need for data storage. Your company will likely need more storage in its local servers, but that is only half the problem. More companies are diversifying by putting their data storage into multiple clouds (multi-cloud), which also carries costs. In addition, multiple storage locations can exacerbate data silos and make it difficult to find what you need, when you need it.

An IDG report from 2016 found that the average business expected their data volume to increase by anywhere from 33 to 52% in the next year, while small businesses could expect it to more than double. This meant an increase in IT spending to the tune of 90% of respondents expecting to increase spending in data centers and storage.

Even though the cost per byte of storage has continued to decline over the years, the sheer volume of data we’re dealing with now means that storage costs will continue to increase. This needs to be an important component of your IT roadmap, because more data is harder to manage and leads to an increase in data complexity and data risk. It’s also more difficult to search and find information when it is spread out across multiple storage locations.

How Aparavi Helps

Aparavi, The Platform, uses multi-tenant architecture, so you can view all of your unstructured data in one single user interface, whether that data is stored on the cloud, core, hybrid, or endpoints. With multitenancy, Aparavi decreases costs and complexity and empowers its users to find and classify data across multiple locations, so they can take action on your data to reduce their data footprint and data risk.

2. Regulatory Compliance

In the last two years, we’ve seen two major data regulation laws pass: the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act). There are certainly more to follow. Data growth has also increased consumer concerns about how their data is handled. In response, legislators have drafted laws granting consumers certain rights.

These rights include the right to know what data you possess on the consumer, the right to the erasure of said data, and the right to opt out of further data collection. But the more data you have, the harder it is to know exactly what you have on any given consumer. Here’s why that can be a problem.

GDPR, CCPA, and Consumers

The GDPR and CCPA are the two largest items on the data legislation list so far. Both contain provisions for regulators to fine companies massive amounts for data breaches or improper use of consumers’ data. And make no mistake, consumers care.

According to PWC, 87% of consumers would take their business somewhere else if they thought a company wasn’t handling their data responsibly. The same study revealed that only 25% of respondents thought most companies did so. Clearly, rapid data growth has created a gap between consumer expectations and corporate’s ability to meet them.

How Aparavi Helps

The Aparavi Platform comes with over 140 pre-defined classification policies, like CCPA or driver’s license, as well as country or region-specific data privacy laws like the GDPR. With the click of your mouse, you can turn on a classification policy to remediate data and restrict access across different storage locations. These policies are constantly updated by our team of experts to update any changes to existing regulations and add new regulations as they go into effect. In addition, you can easily search and find specific personally identifiable or sensitive information, so you can respond to DSAR, FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), or other information requests.

3. Data Breaches

Data breach

The more data you have, the more likely you are to suffer a catastrophic breach. Having more data makes you an even juicier target for hackers and digital extortionists. Bitcoin ransomware attacks became a $1.4-billion-dollar industry in 2020 and specifically targeted large organizations with high user data volumes, including hospitals and universities.

This problem is compounded further by the aforementioned legislation. If you are the victim of a breach, you can also be held liable for damages to users.

How Aparavi Helps

With Aparavi, you can find and eliminate unnecessary data from your core storage, allowing you to restrict access, reduce your data footprint and reduce your risk. Furthermore, in the event of a breach, you can search the storage location to see what information may have been exposed and which specific clients or users were impacted, allowing you to jump into action to comply with data breach notification requirements and secure your data.

4. Making Data Useful

The data boom has led to a lot of messy data situations. Not knowing what to do with the ever-growing amount of data, many companies have ignored the problem. Their data situation resembles the living room of a person with compulsive hoarding disorder.

A Gemalto study showed that 46% of companies do not know where sensitive data is stored. What’s more, 65% have so much data that they can’t categorize or analyze it. Clearly, figuring out how to use this data productively is one of the biggest challenges going forward. What makes it so difficult?

Data Silos

Silos occur when multiple programs create their own datasets or when separate branches or departments of your company have their own sets of data. These silos are not mutually accessible, so data cannot be easily shared from one to the next. This leads to lots of extra data, as the same information is present in multiple silos.

It also limits productivity because one department can’t easily access the data of another. Workers might be using two programs where one would suffice.

ROT and Dark Data

ROT and dark data costs

ROT data refers to any data that is redundant, outdated, or simply trivial. Dark data is any data that your company is not actively monitoring or utilizing. The growth in data means that these two kinds of data have grown just as fast, if not faster in some cases.

Not only do these data problems limit your possibilities, but they also amplify the previously mentioned challenges. ROT and dark data hiding in silos means more chances for bad breaches, more punishment from regulators, and increased storage costs.

How Aparavi Helps

If you don’t know what you have, you can’t adequately harness your data to extract business insights. Aparavi, The Platform, eliminates data silos by creating a single interface for you to map, classify, and search all of your company’s unstructured data, and ultimately take action on that data, to move, copy, defensibly delete, or archive any unnecessary information in accordance with your company’s data retention policies. Finally, Aparavi’s open API can connect with other applications that can finally make use of all of your company’s unstructured data.

How to Get Ahead of These Challenges

So, if you want to clean up your data and be ready for a future that’s full of data growth, what can your company do? Here at Aparavi, we’ve been working on the solution to all of these problems: data intelligence and automation.

Our platform goes through all of your data, regardless of where it’s hiding, and scans it for valuable metadata, tagging and categorizing your data automatically. This allows you to identify useless data, duplicates, outdated files, and any other junk you don’t need. With that removed, you can then focus on security.

Aparavi makes it easy to search all of your unstructured data to comply with data privacy regulations and implement your data retention policies, defensibly deleting the data and limiting the potential for costly breaches. By centralizing your data, it makes search and utilization much easier, allowing your employees to actually use your data rather than fight through it.

Contact Aparavi today if you would like to know more about how our platform can transform your data management.