The Consumerisation of IT unstoppable

… or so Computerworld UK said on Monday. Something that I’ve been saying for 3 years – but, hey, what do I know? According to Computerworld UK the consumerisation of IT is an unavoidable phenomenon that will force businesses to rethink their security policies. What about all that stuff some poor soul will have to back up? CIOs need to deal with consumerisation. For many years we were able to say to our end users – “no you can’t have that”, or “no we don’t support this”. But those days are over. The security of this phenomenon is certainly a concern, but IDC reckon that 80% of data created by individual consumers will end up on corporate networks. This will inevitably cause a overload on our already overloaded systems. Until we have the management capabilities for streaming applications to the desktop (oh, sorry Symantec already does that). OK, so when we get around to migrating to this model where all our data is help inside the network consumerisation won’t be nearly as scary – until then data growth will continue on its upward curve.

That’s why deduplication and archiving are key to our backup strategies. We are challenged with managing and protecting the ever-increasing amounts of data. Backup Exec offer deduplication across physical and virtual machines to reduce the length and size of backups. Deduplication has the power to transform information management; it is great for backup, it is great for archiving, and can even make virtualised server backup manageable. Symantec believes that deduplication should live in every part of the information architecture.

Much of the content produced now consists of email, documents, presentations, and other types of unstructured information. This explosion of information has a significant impact on storage spending and IT’s ability to meet the needs of its internal customers and business units. Backup Exec’s integrated archiving option is focused on reducing the amount of information backed up. Together with Enterprise Vault (EV), Backup Exec’s Agent for EV helps organisations to unify content sources, apply retention policies, reduce backup windows, shorten recovery times, and optimise storage resources making it easier for companies of all sizes to store, manage, and protect all unstructured data.

European Data Retention Legislation

The European Union parliament’s Data Retention Directive of 1995 is under review (again). The directive means that ISPs, fixed and mobile telephone companies must retain traffic, location and subscriber information of all their customers. The directive has been taken up by 20 odd member states but because of the scale of the data collected is absolutely massive, it’s pretty unpopular.

Although data retention makes absolute sense in most cases we really are reaching the point where more intelligent retention of information is a must. (I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping my pension company keep my records for at least my lifetime … which, by the way, wasn’t the case some years ago for some poor soul whose records were deleted when he was only in his third year of retirement!) You can pretty much see our retention policies by pre dotcom collapse, post dotcom collapse and post 14th September 2008 crash: “delete everything”, “keep everything” and “it depends”.

The EU Commission show that on average there around 3 million requests for information across the EU. However 90% of the requests are for data that’s less than 6 months old. It makes you wonder why organisations that are subject to the directive don’t implement an archiving solution of 6 months … perhaps they do?

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