Close this search box.

Transform File Storage into File Service

Moving to a service-oriented infrastructure aligns IT functions with practical business needs; rightly placing focus on enabling core business operations.

The shift from file storage to file service requires the ability to understand and interpret business needs; gathering information about how the current storage environment is being used. It must go hand-in-hand with the definition of a service usage policy – against which data governance, data protection and other relevant stakeholders, as well as the service consumers themselves, can monitor and ensure compliance. It should leverage maturing cloud and collaboration technologies and also be integrated with existing ITSM, HR and billing solutions to eliminate units of work.

Successfully architecting and delivering file storage as a service is a key step in transforming IT from a segregated silo to an integrated core business enabler.

Useful Resources

Data Protection

The ability to monitor how cloud storage and collaboration platforms are being used is critical as responsibilities for fulfillment of data protection obligations become blurred and work is shared between wider and more dynamic teams.

IT Management

Adoption of a service delivery model changes the relationship between IT and the wider organization, allowing for data management responsibilities to be firmly placed in the hands of the service users.

Storage Management

Providing the wider organization with self-service access to information enables them to fulfill their data management responsibilities, without involvement from the IT function.

Business User

Organizational units who are required to adhere to strict service usage policies, will be looking for ways to measure and ensure their compliance.
Northern Parklife icon

Let’s take control over your data management

We accelerate the goals of growth stage companies by providing the expertise and experience they need to hit their next stage of growth faster.

Ensure the right data is stored in the right service?

More and more organizations are moving to a service delivery model, re-positioning file storage as a service designed to fulfill continuously evolving business needs and make use of emerging technologies. This can lead to a series of new challenges for the data protection function.

When client data is stored in a cloud service the role of data controller and data processor become unclear. Shifting data protection obligations between customer, service provider and possible subcontractors blurs lines of responsibilty, leading to the risk of miss-managed vulnerabilities.

Collaboration platforms, both on-premise and cloud-based, are prone to data-loss vulnerabilities – by their very nature. Access rights, data categorization, ownership and location must be continuously maintained.

Providing the relevant levels of security for business records, client data, employee personal data, working files, etc. across a diverse and shifting set of infrastructures requires that the data protection function understands how the business is using the file services offered; what are users storing and where they are storing it.

Northern’s Solution

Northern’s Information Governance and Compliance solution area provides both summary-level and detailed insight into the nature of the unstructured data footprint. Categorization of files can be performed both programmatically, using meta-data filtering or text-mining, and manually by data owners. File location, by service type, offers an immediate analysis of potential risk and allows for accurate and targeted actions to be carried out.

This solution area also offers the ability to continuously maintain an acceptable running state. Frequent updates of data protection analyses allow for emerging risks to be quickly identified and for usage to be guided back into a secure state.

The benefits

The ability to map the use of file services, to understand what users are storing and in which type of infrastructure, as well the ability to involve those users in guarding against data-loss vulnerabilities offers significant benefits:
  • Defining a policy for how different services should be used, and then mapping current usage to that policy, is a vital first step in establishing data protection within a developing file service.
  • Ensure policies are correctly followed or highlight areas where data protection standards should be increased to accommodate business use.
  • Business users have the best knowledge of the files that they create and use. By involving these stakeholders in the classification of data the organization can put important granular decisions into the hands of those who are best placed to make them.
  • Raise awareness of data protection issues within the user population. By asking the business to participate in file classification, users will better understand when they are (and are not) using the file service in an appropriate manner.

Looking to deliver a self-service File Service?

Adopting a service-delivery model changes the relationship between IT and the wider organization when it comes to data management. As provider, IT is made responsible for the maintenance and continuous improvement of the service itself. Responsibility for appropriate use of that service is placed firmly in the hands of the individual business units which use it.

The ability for service users to undestand and manage the way they use the file service is a key consideration. Business units, Data Stewards and individual users should have access to the information and tools necessary to ensure appropriate use of the file service, without IT intervention.

Northern’s Solution

Northern offers a range of capabilities that enable organizations to deliver file storage as a service, including integration with ITSM solutions, billing for service use, allocation and self-service data management.

Focusing on self-service data management, Northern’s Distributed Data Management solution area enables individual users or groups to be provided with access to information about how they, their team or their organizational unit are using the file service. These analyses, from summary to file-level, allow for efficient fulfillment of data management responsibilities.

The benefits

Enabling business users to actively manage their use of the file service re-enforces the responsibility they have for ensuring efficient and compliant use of that service. It also places this very important task into the hands of those who are best placed to peform it.
  • Providing self-service data management capabilities, within the context of a service-oriented IT infrastructure, increases user willingness to pro-actively manage the data footprint – controlling data growth, improving data value realization and mitigating risk.
  • Providing self-service access to IT resources reinforces the shift to a service delivery model – driving successful achievement of a complex change management process.
  • Project teams, departments and organizational units that are subscribed to (and possibly paying for) different service levels for file storage will require the ability to administer their use of these services. Enabling them to do so without direct support from IT both improves user experience and reduces IT operational costs.
Contact Us