More and more companies are shifting towards cloud hosting for their data to reduce costs and accommodate their changing storage needs.
Despite these benefits, they are afraid their data will be exposed. They wonder if it’s possible to save on infrastructure without sacrificing security. The answer to this important question lies in the good governance of hybrid information.
The question is not so much the cloud hosting of data but rather the purpose of the company, which is to create strategic information assets. The cloud is a means of contributing to it as opposed to an end in itself.
To properly manage information within an organization, everyone must be on the same wavelength when it comes to the meaning of this information. The precise and accurate analysis of data requires a company to understand it, and to know the origin and context in which the information was written.
However, collaboration and communication between technical and commercial users is complicated by the lack of a common metadata repository. Even worse, users do not necessarily share the same definition of certain terms. Hence the importance of formulating a standard vocabulary that can be used by the whole company, and of specifying a global metadata strategy as regards both technical metadata and commercial metadata.
Another dimension to consider: preserving the quality of information throughout its life cycle. A big part of the data comes from unstructured sources such as e-mails and documents. Information related to the same customer or employee can therefore be included in several documents or applications.
Incomplete or inaccurate information, however, is harmful to company productivity. To address this, companies must integrate data. This helps them remove silos, and ensure the data is accurate, manageable, and rapidly available on demand.
As for data security, it is important to understand from the start where and how it is stored, how it is forwarded, as well as how access to it can be monitored, and what potential vulnerabilities exist. Companies need to focus on scalable, unified security solutions that protect both physical and cloud environments against cyber-attacks, fraud, unauthorized access, and internal breaches.
The good governance of information also requires the definition of a data integration and lifecycle strategy. As data volumes grow, companies must rely on solutions that can adapt to evolving hardware environments and gather data, deliver it quickly to users, and integrate it at a granular level. For example, these solutions must have a data flow architecture that processes input and output data without copying it to disk.
For more information, download the IBM white paper “The truth about information governance and the cloud.”