You slip on a jacket you haven’t worn in a while and find $20 in the pocket; it’s a great feeling. The business equivalent of that feeling? Finding the value in the data you already own and deriving business value from it.

However, this is easier said than done for most of us. A typical business IT infrastructure will have data spread across a number of environments: on premise, private cloud, public cloud.

Additionally, this data will be found across multiple pockets; on servers, in backup and archive systems. But just like that jacket – if you don’t have easy access to those pockets of value – you tend to forget what’s in them. 

Each day organisations empty their data pockets into their backup systems. Traditionally that data has just sat, dormant in backup systems until needed … until now that is.

There is a current shift underway, whereby organisations have realised two key things: They are investing time and resources into backups that they are not leveraging for anything else. However, these data backups hold the key to business advantage through the potential for activities such as data analytics and R&D.

Data has become the most strategic asset of any organisation. With this in mind, forward-thinking enterprises are now delving into these pockets of data – activating it to uncover business value. Getting on top of this data is a business priority but knowing where to start is often the biggest challenge. For businesses looking to leverage their data to unlock its value, there are a number of things to consider from an infrastructure perspective.

What to consider from an infrastructure perspective:

  1. The role of indexing

    With business data growing rapidly, making it searchable and accessible is the key to providing businesses with a secure platform for collaboration.

  2. The importance of a holistic view

    Business data is spread across multiple infrastructures, which means that a holistic, platform-based view is critical to finding it all and seeing uncovering value.

  3. The integration of an operations and management layer

    Faced with significant growing volumes and variety of data, the ease of automation and orchestration required will be important to managing business data.

By making pockets of data available via a virtual repository, the data traditionally only stored in backup suddenly becomes a highly valuable and active enterprise asset.

In addition to a single platform being used to securely manage backup and recovery, there is immense organisational value that can be liberated by activating business data for other data-driven initiatives. For example, through the deployment of data analytics tools to identify patterns and trends revealing opportunity and helping to manage risk.

Or for research and development purposes whereby data can be fed into initiatives that leverage business intelligence to inform and steer future decision making.   It’s always a pleasant surprise when you discover something you own has hidden value – just like uncovering that $20 in your coat pocket. When it comes to business data however, the value is no longer hidden.

Companies are increasingly realising how imperative data is and the potential it has to offer once the value is unlocked. Unlocking the value of your data doesn’t need to be difficult, but it does take initiative.

Knowing your data, and taking steps to make it accessible and usable is the first thing you can do to activating its business value.