It goes without saying that data is quickly becoming one of the most valuable assets of every business. And as business leaders begin to recognize that the better they manage this the happier their customers will be, they are rapidly looking to adopt the latest management tools and solutions that can assist with efficiently storing and finding relevant data.

One of the biggest challenges that businesses are now facing is that over 70 percent of the data generated today is no longer structured and easy to manage, find and analyse. Instead, data such as videos and IoT data is increasingly unstructured and does not follow any strict format, making it harder to manage efficiently.

Yet businesses realize that efficiently managing and extracting value from unstructured data is critical to increasing revenues and visibility, as well as understanding customers' needs, thereby enabling IT to provide a high-quality service without consuming expensive and unnecessary resources. By implementing a data management solution that can help govern this data, businesses can save money in some key areas.

Why visibility is vital

Increased visibility and analytics are arguably the main benefit of a data management solution, and these are what enable businesses to ultimately increase margins and revenues. As unstructured data footprints are growing rapidly, the visibility into how data is being used is important to keep costs under control while managing ever larger pools of data. The bulk of the cost of data is not in its storage but in its active management – businesses typically spend four times more than the storage cost to actively back up and manage data.

And since most of their data becomes inactive and cold within months, this cost overhead becomes overwhelming as data grows. So, finding the cold data across storage is important for IT to efficiently move it away from actively managed storage to archive environments. And, giving an easily searchable view across all data is vital for employees to find the right data they need to gain vital business insights rather than spending time trawling through millions and often billions of files on various storage and cloud environments.

A management solution that works in the background, analyzing and keeping on top of all the new data that is consistently being created, allows a business to make smart decisions about how to manage data efficiently to keep storage and backup costs in check as data grows. Being able to analyse and manage all of your data in one easy-to-use solution provides IT teams with the information required to determine where savings can be made through their use of both their employees and their archive storage.

Lower your labor costs

IT teams have historically had to spend their time managing storage quotas, backup windows and migrating data as storage fills up, and these time-consuming tasks can prevent experts from focusing their efforts where they are needed more. While structured data is usually pretty small and manageable, unstructured data can get pretty large very quickly, making it much more challenging to understand and efficiently manage. Therefore, having a data management solution that can efficiently scan through huge volumes of data can make the process of identifying cold data much simpler and quicker, both in the first instance and continuously thereafter. The visibility provided can also assist businesses with monitoring employees’ use of the data, anticipate future storage needs and understand what is being used the most and what could be offloaded to archive storage.

By implementing more effective data analysis solutions, staff are able to work on tasks that rely on the expertise of a human employee, and so overall the labor costs can be reduced – with fewer employees required to handle the mundane data monitoring, resources can be distributed more efficiently across the company to better meet business objectives.

Efficient storage means effective savings

Data management solutions can also enable the data being used within businesses to be streamlined when it comes to storage. In today’s world where the volume of data being generated is increasing exponentially, having sufficient storage and efficient data protection to cope with this influx is crucial. The dilemma that most businesses face is understanding what data needs to be kept active and accessible - hot data - and what data can be moved to archive storage because it is being kept as a record but isn’t in use – cold data.

But you don’t want to just move all of your older data files into this storage, whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud. Good data management tools will help to determine which files can be deleted and thereby reducing the overall amount of data needing to be stored at all. Less data being stored means smaller bills at the end of the month, which in turn allows business leaders to put this money saved towards more pressing areas of the company, that can ultimately provide better services for customers.

With unstructured data nearly doubling every year, a good data management solution is critical to efficiently manage data growth and find relevant data across different storage environments. Having an unstructured data management strategy in place to make data accessible and yet still secure gives customers confidence in a business’ ability to take good care of their data, all while bringing in revenue and driving the business ahead of its competitors.