Too many companies these days are messing with the way they store data, when the answer is right in front of you. Creating an accurate and always synchronized business data mesh means leave data where it is!

Every minute of every day, your employees are synching your sensitive company data across their many devices -- from phones and tablets to work laptops and personal PCs -- and subsequently sharing your data with co-workers, contractors, customers, vendors, and friends. They're also storing that sensitive data on unknown third-party storage environments. InformationWeek says the estimated global cloud services market could reach $180 billion by the end of 2015, with no intentions of stopping. With 50 million servers on the planet and a majority of business owners who are attempting to cut their costs by migrating to the cloud, it's clear that this approach is desirable for many. However, that's a lot of company information floating around out there that anyone can have access to.

Consider the fact that your company needs to be in compliance with regulatory and governance issues, and your industry or country may have strict rules on where your data resides.

And don't forget you have a little thing called competitors, whom you don't want accessing your private information you worked so hard to protect.

Lastly, there's the possibility for data loss in the cloud. Nearly 50 percent of companies lost data in the cloud in 2013 alone and had to perform backups to restore that lost information, according to Symantec. Unfortunately, 66 percent of those data recovery efforts failed. So, what's the answer?

The cut and dried answer is to "leave your data where it is." Leave your documents and files where they were created, and manage access and (re)use from there. By leaving your data where it is, you can control what data leaves the office, and apply time and other accessibility limitations on the data availability.

In a broader context, you also have the opportunity to integrate unstructured data (documents) with structured data (databases), to develop a data mesh between your in-house data, private cloud and cloud-based data silos. It makes intuitive sense to supply your data to a data mesh that manages, secures, controls and makes data available for re-purposing and deeper integration capabilities, while adhering to IT and security policies, and enabling a boost in user productivity. (Wouldn't it be great if your public cloud applications could provide access to information managed by the cloud application, such as when and where users accessed the private cloud, for inclusion in a dashboard or user reporting? See another post about Information Silos)

Including a private dash mesh also can improve productivity. With all the movement of files and documents, there is the likelihood that some of the those documents will be the wrong version because they were not synchronized. If that's already happened to you (and I'm betting that it has), no further explanation is required. If there are some documents and files that must go into the cloud, why not implement a synchronized file exchange with your cloud applications (subject to your security parameters) instead of manually copying files when they change.

Instead of putting your company at risk for data losses, security breaches and compliance issues, keep your data where it is. And, you know what, it's not hard to do. Let us know if you want more information about the concepts in this post.