Information Technology Navigator

Tips, Advice & Insights from Technology Pros

Archiving Email and SharePoint? How to Take Control of Your Dark Data

When employees first began using corporate email and content management systems to communicate and share their ideas, little did IT teams know what they had in store. In “store” being the operative word.

Such systems like Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SharePoint would soon take exponentially larger and larger bites out of the storage available on a whole range of corporate servers, file shares and, even, enterprise storage networks.

IT teams soon had a real mess on their hands. Frequent requisition requests for new storage capacity weren’t usually greeted well by budget owners. Then, there was the on-going time required from IT to help “discover” key content of older emails or files--in keeping with various compliance, legal or audit requirements.

“Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SharePoint would soon take
exponentially larger and larger bites out of the storage available…IT teams soon had a real mess on their hands”

For highly regulated industries, like those in Life Science or Financial Services, the need to effectively track, preserve and discover data became even more critical.

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Mon, Sep 14, 2015

Take Control of Data Governance Regulations: 4 Steps for IT Life Science Teams

IT teams in most Life Science organizations have an unending To-Do list of projects to tackle. Their hands are full with various initiatives to support growth mandates while adjusting and keeping up with constant change in this highly competitive, fast-paced industry. While maintaining an eye on industry trends is necessary, fundamental IT work remains. This is the keep-the-lights-on type of work that falls under the not so sexy, but very important category of “data governance.”

Keeping IT’s Head Above Governance Waters. . .

For IT teams struggling with growth initiatives, mounting and ever-changing regulations cannot be ignored. Data privacy, security and compliance must still be assured. Protection from potential data breach is critical and efforts to ensure proper data audit trails, unquestioning data integrity, and effective data lifecycle management are ongoing. 

“Efforts to ensure proper data audit trails, unquestioning data integrity, and effective data lifecycle management are ongoing.”

This includes the sorting and classification of all your dark data with proper controls, where needed. This includes unstructured or semi-structured data still lurking about in your company’s file shares, SharePoint servers and email system.

How can IT achieve the right balance between its long list of growth and data governance projects? And, how far is far enough when it comes to governance?

We don’t presume to have all the answers. But, our experience with Life Science organizations gives us some perspective as well as a few, proven governance rules-of-thumb to help keep your IT team sane.

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Mon, Aug 31, 2015

Data Governance and Life Science IT: A Mission Impossible?

Fans of the latest Mission:Impossible film might question how close any IT team could get to the high stakes, world-in-the-balance job of Impossible Missions Force (IMF) Agent Ethan Hunt and his team.

Granted, IT folks might not see themselves clinging gamely to the side of an ascending airplane anytime soon. But, based on some of the missions you’re tasked 

with—especially for those in regulated industries like Life Sciences—the idea of being part of your own IMF might have some appeal.

Chief among these seemingly “impossible” IT missions? For IT teams in Life Science organizations, it might involve the often vague mission to ensure “proper data governance.”

Data Governance: Your Mission, If You Choose to Accept It . . .

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Fri, Aug 21, 2015

Cloud Backup – You Might as well Jump!

I chuckled to myself as I drove to work this morning. An ad came on the radio talking in clichés. “Synergy!” “Run it up the flag pole.” “Better safe than sorry.” And that was enough to send me into action and write this blog post.

The clichés and metaphors surrounding the cloud are seemingly endless. You read about “The cloud journey.” “The cloudy IT forecast,” and on and on.  It’s no secret that many organizations are looking for ways to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud. Moving to the cloud can reduce capital expenditures, eliminate over provisioning, lighten employee workloads, free IT staff to work on strategic initiatives, and help businesses become more agile.

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Thu, May 14, 2015

Still Backing Up Duplicate Data?

Meeting with clients, I’m hearing a lot of folks complaining about two common problems: First - Backups are taking far too long to complete.  Second – Recovering a single file is a long, painstaking process.

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Fri, Jan 09, 2015

Secure Cloud Backup Part 4: Availability

By Matthew Brady, Daymark Consultant

How easily can you restore your data from cloud?  What is your provider doing to protect your data once it has been stored in the cloud?  Can you backup or restore your data at any time?  These questions address availability.


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Wed, Sep 18, 2013

Secure Cloud Backup – Part 3: Ensuring Integrity

By Matthew Brady, Daymark Consultant

How do you know the data you backed up is the data that can be restored?  That question is at the heart of integrity as it relates to secure cloud backup.

Ensuring integrity can be a tough task.  It definitely requires a leap of faith as you put your data into the cloud.  The way to transform that leap of faith into a sense of assurance is through logging, restore validations, and continuous corruption detection and repair processes.

Detailed Logging

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Thu, Aug 15, 2013