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I recently attended our partner BigID’s inaugural global customer conference, where Nephos were lucky enough to be awarded the Rising Star award for EMEA for our partnership with BigID.  

Aside from product development news, it was great to hear from customers in different fields and share experiences, so I thought I’d share some of the common practical challenges based on customer feedback during the event.

Here’s a snippet of what we heard from customers regarding some of their critical challenges.

Unstructured data

One of the biggest challenges for organisations is running discovery and classification across their unstructured data sets. Generally, it seems to be a bit of a minefield, particularly at scale. It takes time and actioning the findings can be complex – a big problem when managing data retention and data minimisation across the organisation.

This has become a critical use case for Nephos and our Data Governance-as-a-Service offering , with the ability to automate remediation across these data sets and move data beyond use.    

Connecting without purpose

A common problem expressed by many of the attendees is that certainly, at the start of their data governance journey, they didn’t necessarily have a purpose. Success was measured by how much data they scanned/discovered. Over time, this evolves, and organisations realise they need to take a step back and focus on the value of the data assets and what they’re trying to discover or protect.

In short, focus on the critical areas first, rather than attempting to discover everything from the outset.

Lack of insights

This was and continues to be one of the biggest challenges for organisations. Yes, we can scan our data sets, and yes, we can discover sensitive data, but it takes an army to get any real insight into the data or get any real value from that data.

This anecdotal evidence from customer organisations further validated the market research that Nephos conducted recently, where 25% of respondents felt that they don’t get any value from their data governance programmes.

Again, this is a primary function of Nephos’ Data Governance-as-a-service offering.

Complexity to operationalise

The final aspect common across most organisations was the sheer volume of resources required to run their governance programmes, the amount of tooling they had in place, and consequently, the complexity of the infrastructure to manage their governance platforms.

I think the overall takeaway was that delivering on these programmes is complicated, and quite often, organisations don’t see the value for these programmes as a result. 

In my opinion, there are some key things to consider when implementing these programmes to try and avoid the complexity and deliver some real value: 

  • Focus on the critical data assets and work with purpose – finding everything you have when it’s of little to no value isn’t going to help
  • Automate where we can – we need to eliminate some of the heavy lifting when it comes to operationalising these governance platforms
  • Focus on the output that will deliver actual business value – ask yourself where or what value you’re trying to provide and focus on that

In our recent survey (check out the infographic here), 76% of respondents felt that a service-led approach would help in speeding up time to value and adoption of governance programmes. A service-led approach overcomes a number of these challenges. Organisations need more than just a toolset – they need a partner to help them navigate the challenges and deliver more meaningful outputs.

For me, listening to other industry experts and customers only validated the approach that Nephos are adopting with our DGaaS offering. Solving these common challenges and trying to overcome the obstacles that people have with solving these issues is why we’ve developed our service, to support customers with not just best of breed tooling but with reduced time to value and meaningful insights into the data governance landscape.

Lee Biggenden

Lee, the Co-founder and Managing Director of Nephos, brings a wealth of experience and a pioneering spirit to the forefront of data system integration. Lee's thought leadership content offers invaluable insights into transforming data storage, processing, governance, and protection. Through his writings, Lee shares the latest trends, challenges and advancements in the data technology landscape - helping organisations to not only adapt but thrive in the digital era.

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