Conclusion: Over the last 20 years data management has typically focused on structured data, and as a result most IT organisations now do a good job managing structured data and turning it into useful information that supports the business. However, many IT organisations have reached a tipping point where more than half of all their electronic data is unstructured, and the very high growth rates for unstructured data will ensure that this capacity balance rapidly shifts away from the traditional structured data “comfort zone”.

To cope with this rapid transition to unstructured data, IT organisations must learn to manage unstructured data as successfully as they currently manage structured data. To accomplish this, the IT organisation needs to work with the business to define a data management policy and then implement unstructured data management systems to enforce that policy. Since e-mail is usually the largest unstructured data repository, and often the de-facto records management system, we recommend starting with e-mail.

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Kevin McIsaac

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Kevin McIsaac