Common conditions across organizations in virtually all industries, that eventually led to a new market segment that Gartner named “File Analysis.”
Exponential growth of unstructured data
The first is the exponential growth of unstructured data. By unstructured, we mean file based data rather than database content. These are the word processor files, presentations, spreadsheets, media files, and even virtual images that are taking up the majority of disk space on network storage devices.
Lack of data management practices
Next is the lack of data management practices that include the archiving or justifiable deletion of files once their lifecycle is over. Yes, even in today’s world of compliance to industry and government regulations, certain files can be deleted – in fact, in some cases they must be deleted to be in regulatory compliance.
No idea of value of stored data
Because of the aforementioned exponential storage growth, organizations have little idea of what is being stored, nor its value. For example, are they storing irrelevant data on expensive primary storage that has not been accessed by anyone in two years?
Data access not being properly managed
With many organizations, the written policies pertaining to user and group access rights to files on the network are not being followed consistently.
Lack of understanding of compliance
In an era of expanding industry and government regulations that are getting more and more difficult to understand, many organizations are simply “playing it safe” and keeping everything.
Increased storage costs
Overall storage costs are increasing each year. This is not just the storage hardware, but the management costs that make up the majority of annual storage expenditures.
Because of the frequency of these data breaches, the stories are getting less alarming. Did you know that in 2016 alone, there were discovered data breaches at the FBI, the IRS, Verizon, ADP, and the Department of Homeland Security?
Inability to quantify “dark data”
And finally, these organizations inability to quantify the terabytes or even petabytes of “dark data” that they are storing in their data centers.
Gartner recognized these problems and classified them into a new market segment in 2014 with the release of its first Market Guide for File Analysis Software publication.
In the 2014 guide and follow-up guides in 2015 and 2016, Gartner defines and analyzes the market, shares key findings, makes recommendations, and identifies “representative vendors” (without endorsing any of them) who are developing File Analysis tools to address the market.