No Double Trouble Here: How to Streamline Duplication Efforts

by Shirish Phatak

If costs are soaring and you can’t find a valid reason why, duplications might be your problem. In the enterprise, where the right hand almost never knows what the left is up to, this is problematic. But it can also be troublesome even in smaller organizations. Here are some common areas where duplications can be troublesome and what to do to cut costs, streamline efforts, and get everyone back on the right track for 2016.

De-Duping Projects
Make sure that there aren’t multiple people or teams chasing the same problem or working on the same project.

If one department has noticed a problem and is looking for a solution, it’s possible that others have done the same — meaning multiple teams could be doing the same things while not realizing someone else is on the same bloodhound trail. Another common way this happens is for more than one executive to notice a need and each assign different teams to undertake the same, or essentially the same, work.

There are multiple ways to de-dupe projects. You could appoint a project manager who is responsible for approving and overseeing projects. Another option is to have all the departments to submit project outlines to a specific manager or executive. Project management software is also a great resource to manage projects as well as make ongoing or proposed projects visible across the organization. Then departments and managers can consult the proper resource before beginning a project that’s already underway elsewhere.

De-Duping Cloud Services
Cloud services are easier to duplicate than about anything else in the organization, because cloud resources are typically inexpensive (don’t raise flags in budget audits), and run quietly in the background without much hassle or reason to draw someone’s attention. Cloud services are often purchased for a project or proposed project and never canceled after the project is completed or halted.

When tracking down duplicate and unnecessary cloud services, you also need to sniff out any Shadow IT lurking in the workplace, such as employees storing sensitive data in public cloud services like AWS or Rackspace. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick, easy way to de-dupe cloud services. Someone has to conduct a thorough audit of each department’s cloud services and track each one to detect redundant and unnecessary services.

De-Duping Service Vendors
Samantha creates a spreadsheet and emails it to three coworkers for their input. They each make changes and return copies to Samantha. She creates a new spreadsheet, saves all of their copies and her old one on file, and then emails the spreadsheet to the whole department. Each member makes changes and saves additional copies. This is just one scenario that leads to data duplications.

Cloud vendors aren’t the only services that get doubled up on sometimes. Check to see if your company is paying for multiple IT consultants, like networking specialists, or if you’re paying for multiple software packages or cloud-based applications that do the same stuff. Just be sure you’re actually ridding the business of duplication services and not eliminating apples when you have too many oranges. For instance, a networking specialist and a cyber security specialist are two different animals. If you get rid of one, the other can’t necessarily fill that position.

De-Duping Data
Redundant data might seem trivial, but the cumulative costs of duplicate files and information are surprisingly high. For every duplicate spreadsheet, document, or multimedia file you store, you are increasing your costs for hardware, maintenance, backups, business continuity and disaster recovery services, and IT labor. Additionally, the extra data hampers the efficiency of the network and systems. There are both software and services available to address data de-duping. Data cleansing as a service can also help with problems like identifying and eliminating corrupted files, outdated or useless information, and cleaning up marketing databases, which tend to become excessively bloated and skew the results of your sales and marketing efforts.

Shirish Phatak is the CEO of Talon Storage.

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