One of the most critical concepts in maintaining business continuity is data organization. Any company, client, or even home user, has to organize their data in such a way that they know where the “important stuff” is and also have access to that one @#$%! file that they know they will need months from now. Ideally, the less backup targets you have, the better. This reduces the licensing costs to produce a stellar backup and disaster recovery can devour your entire IT budget if you are not cautious.
A heart-to-heart may be needed with management and ultimately the people you support. Environments that have a long standing history of doing it themselves will have a hard time with being told how and where to save their files, and there will even be some people that have a workable system. The key is to get as many people on board as possible. Let them participate in the filing system planning to prove to them you have their and the company’s needs in mind. When you are new to a network, always be sure to perform a rundown of all user accounts to make sure all home drives have been provided and are mapped correctly. The last thing you want is to have your customers question sincerity because they are feeling overlooked.
Running a quick check of applications running on the network and the drawbacks of forcing that data onto a shared drive can also reduce the number of backup targets.
The solution in regards to data consolidation will vary based on your environment and this makes complete sense. Each organization will have it’s individual needs, but it is very important to address this issue to ensure a cost effective backup system.