How To Counteract Data Sprawl With DMS
Factually stated, every company is built on data. Data is vital to a company's growth, whether it comes from customers (as an external source) or internal functions. Since these sources of data keep increasing in number and frequency, the issue that arises is called data sprawl.
Data sprawl plagues growing companies that happen to not be ‘prepared enough’ for the situation. In this article, we aim to outline the meaning & dangers of data sprawl and how, as a company, you can prepare yourself for an age of data explosion.
Defining Data Sprawl
Data sprawl is the overwhelming amount of data produced by enterprises every day. Even as a consumer, you are a part of data sprawl.
Think of how many apps you have on your phone, or the cloud storage platforms you may use. Now think of all the data you have existing on it; your documents, photos, music, and so on. And finally, think of all the different file formats you store this data as.
This is nothing in comparison to the size of data received by organisations through digital as well as physical mediums. Data management becomes an ordeal at a large scale like this. This is when data sprawl begins to bite back and cause issues that we outline below.
Problems With Data Sprawl
While data sprawl can reap benefits in terms of analytics & research, the influx of data mostly spells out bad news for an unequipped company.
The increase in number of files to be managed makes it difficult to keep track of everything in one place. Like we mentioned before—since files can be of many formats—storing 'sister' files that are vital to each other can become an issue if the system does not support both of their existing formats.
In such a scenario, a business would have to use two different platforms to store these files. Consequently, employees would have to manually refer to the individual files on each separate system, which could often lead to human error, costing the company both time and money in the long run.
A big issue with data sprawl is security. Keeping track of data in massive quantities, especially when it is spread over folders upon folders with different departments managing certain files, can prove to be a very challenging task. Sensitive data could be easily leveraged if is not kept in check, and if your company is not compliant to standard regulations, you could land up with a lawsuit on your hands.
So what can you do about it? What should be done? Here's how DMS can work as a solution to counteract data sprawl.
How DMS Works Around Data Sprawl
Data sprawl comes with a major issue to resolve: accessibility. To counter this, document management solutions offer cloud plans that provide a centralised library for all of your company’s files available for access, from anywhere at any time.
With the increase in files and their formats, DMS also comes equipped to read and store a variety of file formats so that all your information can be stored and integrated on one system. No more manual cross-referencing!
Other features include robust search (to instantly retrieve a desired file), OCR (to power text recognition from physically scanned documents), and workflows (to bring together files and function). A DMS is a great solution to simplify storage and productivity while unifying complex systems.
Finally, a good provider ensures that the DMS you implement is compliant to industry standard regulations. High level security features and compliance measures make sure that your company operates smoothly without compromising on precautions and legal procedures.
Data sprawl must be managed as soon as it begins to crop up. Our reputed product, ShareDocs Enterpriser, is a great DMS to help manage potential data explosion in your company. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of using DMS, take a look at our blog. If you would like to speak with us, feel free to contact our team here.