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File Analytics: Shining Light in the Darkest Corners of Your Stored Content

From the conversations we are having, there appear to be three items earning a well-deserved place in IT leaders plans: File Analytics, Application Decommissioning, and ECM transition.

Each of these topics has risen to the top of priority lists because they address critical problems and provide potential cost savings. We have created this primer on each of the three items to help you understand the costs, benefits, and payback of each. Here we start with File Analytics

Connecting the Content Dots

Across your IT infrastructure you store terabytes of information, and if you are like most of us, you are not sure exactly what is in all that content. Whether you are dealing with content located in application repositories, individual hard drives or shared folders on network drives, unstructured content represents a big risk and a significant cost reduction opportunity.

Shared folders are the most glaring example of a big problem that most of us do not like to think about, much less talk about. The reality is that we typically don’t know what they contain, what we need to keep and what we could get rid of. As a result, we waste money on the storage they use, and we suffer from the risk that they contain personal, or even worse, incriminating information.

Fortunately, analytics technologies have advanced to the point that they can help us take on this challenge. File Analytics is a fast-evolving software category that includes the ability to identify and classify unstructured content (documents and files) based not only on the file type and date but the actual content of the file as well.

Using file analytics, for example, you can identify and classify all documents that appear to be contracts across multiple repositories and network spaces. That sets the stage to eliminate redundant files and delete interim versions of documents that are not necessary or appropriate to save.

Your 2018 Budget Summary for File Analytics

What: Identify, select and implement a file analytics tool

Why: As an organization, we pay more and more each year for storage, yet much of what we store is unnecessary. Typically, using file analytics, content volume can be reduced by 40% by eliminating redundant, obsolete and trivial content (“ROT”). In addition to cost savings, a File Analytics tool will help us identify and remediate compliance risks associated with inappropriately storing personal information (PII and PCI). File Analytics also helps support the EU GDPR when it comes into effect in May.

How Much: File Analytics solutions vary a great deal in how they are packaged and licensed, with some available as a stand-alone solution and others as part of a broader Information Governance solution. While there is a huge amount of “it depends” involved, a budget placeholder of $100,000 to $250,000 is appropriate for most large enterprises.