Our world is data-driven and data is one of the most valuable assets of any business. Before big data and the cloud revolution, creating and managing data in various locations was not considered a complex thing or a challenge for an organisation. Each department was driven by its own policies, procedures, and goals to manage and store data.

That upraised the issue of data silo in the organisations. As each department collects and stores its own data at their choice of location for its own purposes, it creates its own data silo. Not to forget, backing up, archiving, or even streamlining all of your data can be laborious and time-consuming, especially when it is saved in multiple locations. However, figuring out the way of storing the data cannot resolve the data silos.

Since data silos happen when you have different databases isolated from one another, organisations feel that it is simply about importing and exporting those databases. The problem is that data is constantly changing. Thus, no matter how often you import/export data, the information will never be fully up-to-date.

The move towards greater use of data for business benefits come at a time when data protection regulations are constricting significantly. While data access, encryption, and data retention tools can help facilitate data storage compliance, they can only get you so far. To satisfy your compliance audits, it is important to enforce a comprehensive data management policy that includes streamlined data back-up and archiving from multiple locations. You must also enforce data retention and deletion policies, which IT staff, legal staff, and end-users must follow.

The storage option you choose will be dependent upon your specific business and industry requirements and the type of data you typically process and store. Currently, most of the organisation use a combination of on-premises vs off-premises solutions and various cloud-based options for storing their data. The need of the hour is an all-in-one solution or platform to keep teams aligned, data streamlined, and most importantly compliant. Data governance requires you to not just rethink your data storage strategy from the location perspective, but you also need to think about profiling sensitive data across silos, data cleanup of sensitive files, and subsequent audit reports. Data breach mitigation requires you to optimise your storage approach by analysing storage space, distribution plan, aging, sprawls, duplications, access permissions, and controls.

While we are talking about access permissions and controls, it is also noteworthy to preserve the relevant information proactively. Your data is most likely located within different pieces of software. Integrating those systems correctly is the most effective way to avoid data silos. You must ensure that you have high-quality data that is automatically updated to help your different teams get on the same page, resulting in a better customer experience.

Cloud-based comprehensive data management solutions for back up, archiving, classification, analysis, and indexing are deemed as the future of data storage and eliminator of data silo. Cloud has emerged as a natural way to centralise data from diverse sources to make it easily accessible from the office, at home, or on the road.

Last, but not the least, as the industry says that it is all about recovery. No backups in the world can save you if you cannot recover your data. Being proactive and doing random recoveries each week, or doing disaster recovery testing and auditing your data pools periodically, so you can be sure you can recover your data is the way forward. Therefore, whichever method or methods of backup you use – be sure to test them – and not just once a year or once a month.