Cloud storage exacerbates data duplication, claims 451 analyst

News Jane McCallion Jan 17, 2013
Cloud filing cabinet
Cloud filing cabinet

Analyst highlights data management problems posed by cloud

Companies need to do a bettter job of managing their data in the cloud to reduce the risk information being duplicated across multiple sites, it has been claimed.

Speaking at Huddle’s Government in the Cloud conference in London yesterday, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, research director of content management and collaboration at analyst house 451 Research, said the importance of good data management is being overlooked in the cloud.

“We are being sold this ad hoc world, where we are told we can throw everything in this one bucket and not to worry it will find itself. But it does not actually work,” Pelz-Sharpe said.

“We have stuff sitting on our servers... but we do not actually have a proper record of it, we do not know how to trace it and we do not really know how it got there in some cases. We have lost the audit trail,” he added.

Pelz-Sharpe claimed Microsoft SharePoint and online storage offerings, such as Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud, contribute to the proliferation of data and companies’ loss of control over their information.

However, Pelz-Sharpe was keen to stress that he is not suggesting people should "throw out the computers and go back to our old filing cabinets”, but should develop skills in good data management instead.

“What I am saying is there is a skills shortage. But some of the technology that is coming along now it trying to fill that," he added.

Pelz-Sharpe cited the release of cloud-based analytical tools that can monitor people’s work and suggest collaborations within companies to reduce the duplication of effort.

“What is cool about the cloud is you are accessing massive computing power and...going forward there is the capability to do something with all the data created every time you check a document out or share something,” he said.

“The best use I have seen [of this data is a tool] that is able to say one to three times a week ‘somebody else in your organisation is working on something that looks very similar to this, perhaps you ought to give them a call?’

“This kind of predictive analytics is becoming really important in computing and business,” Pelz-Sharpe concluded.