Businesses trying to create sensible and easy to navigate information environments have to face off against dual disruptive forces. Information is always pouring in, much of it unstructured content - including emails, .pdfs, productivity app data and social media streams - meaning the sheer amount of data is constantly on the rise. Coupled with this is the fact that the existing information is varied in its own right, and every update to software means less of the programs actually used to create that data will still be in service, making legacy content harder to find. It's difficult to support an expensive and disruptive migration for old data. Dealing with data is monopolizing the attention of knowledge workers, making the situation seem nearly intractable.
The IT department will have to act quickly to get the information environment in order and make sense of both the new data pouring in and the legacy information stranded in its application silos. Fortunately, a new generation of technology is here to help.
New data against old data
Data sprawl is a multifaceted problem, one proliferated by the increased volume, velocity and variety of incoming information. Purchasing new applications is easy and affordable these days, meaning companies are adding to their own problems by generating new data silos. Adding a Software-as-a-Service cloud app is far faster and more economical than acquiring traditional on-premise software, which can be great for businesses that want to update their services quickly. However, this action presents problems in terms of both legacy and incoming data.
New apps mean new input, with content saved to a new location, increasingly off-site. This data becomes another piece in the complex puzzle for companies, and the chances of employees finding exactly what they need diminish. It also creates a division between old and new data formats, meaning users may soon be unsure of where old data is located. They may consider either using legacy apps specifically to access old information or signing off on lengthy and expensive data migration endeavors, neither of which is an attractive prospect for an efficiency-minded business.
Progress can be painful when it comes to updating the information environment, but luckily the IT department can help. Rather than trying to stop the introduction of new software, constantly migrating data or simply surrendering to inefficiency, IT can seek out enterprise indexing and search tools.
Indexing helps data of all eras
Indexing content by using a solution like ViaWorks form VirtualWorks can re-frame the entire discussion of new and legacy data use. No matter the age or format of information, companies with indexed information can find what they need. Even if the employee searches for a detail contained in the content of a document instead of the title or metadata, he or she will be able to find it. Creating a unified framework that incorporates information from all of a firm's varied application silos makes peace between the old legacy tools, current operational enablers and the next generation of cloud-based solutions. All content is equal once indexed, and can be found in a hurry, which helps preserve corporate efficiency.