Time to Wrangle Your Unstructured Data

How much value is sitting in your organization’s content? You may not even know – and it’s even more likely you haven’t tapped into the entirety of that value. More than half (56%) of respondents say their organization has not realized the full value of its content, according to ASG’s 2021 Survey Report, What’s Slowing Modernization? Barriers Hindering Enterprise IT Systems and Content Management.

Not realizing the value of content is a major missed opportunity for organizations, especially given how much unstructured data most organizations possess. According to ASG’s 2021 Survey Report, three-quarters (75%) of respondents say at least some of their organization’s data is unstructured. What is the result of so much under-utilized information? Dark data – and 30% of respondents say most if not all their content is “dark” (collected, processed and stored, but not used).

So, How Does Records Management Help with Unstructured Data?

Organizations are struggling to realize the value of content because it’s scattered across the enterprise – including on Microsoft 365 (58%), shared drives (53%) and email (51%). Almost one-third (32%) of respondents say content still exists as paper files at their organizations! Simultaneously, a majority of organizations lack the records management tools and processes needed to manage this content sprawl.

Only 41% of respondents have retention and records management, and only 33% have scan/capture tools. These capabilities are required to know what content the organization has, how long they’ve had it, where it is and if it’s in compliance with regulations. Scan/capture tools are critical for finding and managing personal or sensitive information – especially as privacy laws empower consumers to make requests around their data. Because organizations lack these capabilities, they are confronting issues with their records management:

  • 37% struggle with retaining/storing content for too long
  • 35% struggle with limiting control/granting access to the right people
  • 35% retain unnecessary/redundant information

Each of these challenges introduces more risk to the organization. That’s why 41% of respondents say they implemented redaction/retention rules in response to content management challenges brought on by the pandemic. Organizations should also make sure to take the following three steps:

  1. Digitize core processes – Focus on digitizing core activities, such as new account onboarding, billing and accounts payable and human resources.
  2. Modernize your infrastructure – Assess outdated tools, manual and paper-based workflows and proprietary legacy systems. Modernizing content management helps reduce risk in terms of regulatory compliance and cybersecurity.
  3. Eliminate redundant and risky data – Say goodbye to redundant, obsolete or trivial data, all of which is more susceptible to hacker activity. Organizations can assess the information they have, the risk it presents and eliminate what is not necessary.

Records management is key to maximizing opportunities – and reducing risk and challenges – around unstructured data. Organizations that focus on elevating their records management practices will be in better shape than other companies that let it fall to the wayside during the pandemic.

Learn how ASG Content Services (Mobius) can help you modernize your records management by visiting this product page. For more insight into the state of unstructured data at organizations, download the full ASG 2021 Survey Report, What’s Slowing Modernization? Barriers Hindering Enterprise IT Systems and Content Management.