3 Signs There’s A Black Hole in Your IT Strategy


Black holes are some of the strongest and most mysterious objects in the universe. Albert Einstein was the first to theorize of their existence in 1916. So why could he only theorize? Because you can’t actually see a black hole – you can only tell it’s there by observing what goes on around it.

According to NASA, you can identify that a black hole is there by three signs:

  1. Gravitational pull – You can see things moving toward and circling around one specific area.
  2. Observing things falling into that area – You lose sight of them and they never come back out.
  3. If you get too close, you will experience an event horizon – Where time will appear to stand still.

Identifying black holes

Many organizations have black holes in their IT strategies when it comes to how employees are sharing critical business information with people outside their four walls. But how can you tell if you have a file-sharing black hole if you can’t see it? Let’s use the same three signs suggested by NASA:

First, you may notice your employees gravitating toward cloud-based file sync and share tools that you don’t want them to use. Regardless of your policies, it can seem like an invisible force is attracting your employees to these unsanctioned tools, signing up with their personal email accounts.

Second, you witness your important, proprietary, sensitive or confidential information going into these sharing tools – and you lose sight over it. You have no idea who is sharing it or where it is, and you fear that it’s never coming back out. If those employees leave your organization, your fears are realized as the information leaves with them – and they still have ownership over the files (and you don’t).

Third, if you decide to take a closer look at how your employees are using these tools, you will experience an event horizon in your processes. You will see that business slows down as employees are spending time manually copying and pasting files from your corporate systems into these tools, and back into your corporate systems.

To help you evaluate these file-sharing black hole symptoms within your own organization, take this quiz.

If you discover that you do have a black hole in your IT strategy, what can you do?

Eliminating black holes

According to a recent AIIM study, there are three plans of attack:

  1. Educate your employees. Use this free tool to help your employees understand the dangers of unsafe sharing and choose the right tool to enable secure file sharing. You can even customize your own version with your specific sharing policies and guidelines.
  2. Choose a cloud-based file sharing technology that is specifically designed for enterprise use. The tool you choose should:
    • Empower your users to share information and files quickly and easily (reducing gravitational pull toward unsanctioned tools).
    • Provide you with visibility into what’s being shared, with whom and by whom, and ensure you retain ownership even if employees leave your organization.
    • Integrate with your existing applications, allowing sharing, collaboration and collection of files to happen as part of a seamless business process.
  3. Ensure someone is responsible for addressing the issue. Even if you are not directly responsible for making decisions in IT strategy but want to help your organization, share this video and infographic with those who are.

Don’t let your organization get sucked in to a content black hole. To learn more about an enterprise-class file-sharing tool specifically designed to be an “anti-black hole” for your organization, visit ShareBase.com.

Glenn Gibson is Director, Global Technology Evangelist at Hyland. With 20 years working in the IT industry, he’s collected several certifications over the years as a VMware Certified Professional, Citrix Certified Administrator and Microsoft Certified Professional. As a self-proclaimed “presentation junkie”, he is very passionate about everything that goes along with public speaking, and has picked up a few awards along the way too. A native of Scotland, his passions outside of work include all things Scottish; kilts, bagpipes, whisky, (real) football and is often heard beating a drum or two in his spare time.
Glenn Gibson

Glenn Gibson

Glenn Gibson is Director, Global Technology Evangelist at Hyland. With 20 years working in the IT industry, he’s collected several certifications over the years as a VMware Certified Professional, Citrix... read more about: Glenn Gibson