PST Files Impacting Desktop Management?
PST files present several unique challenges when it comes to desktop management. Desktop refresh initiatives should be a relatively straightforward affair – but when PST files exist throughout the enterprise user population, they must be migrated to the new machines. For each user, this means locating the correct ones, temporarily moving to a network share, and copying them back to the new machine. This process is tedious and introduces risk around how best to track and audit this process – what if something is left behind?
Additionally, having PST files in your environment typically means data protection is required – normally in the form of a backup solution which must be maintained. While mailbox and OneDrive data are well-protected in Office 365, protection for PST files must be handled separately. This can be a significant additional cost as well as a drain on technology resources.
Removing official support for PST files is often a tenuous situation as the aging technology is still vital to end-user productivity. The foundation of any successful modernization strategy starts with ensuring PST files remain accessible to end users in transition.
PSTs Creating IT Support Challenges?
While PST files are an aging technology, they still offer a portable and effective means of storing communications data for end users. As a result, they are often misused, copied, and managed in a way that is burdensome for IT staff. For example, Microsoft strongly discourages using PST files over a network (LAN or WAN), yet this is a very common scenario leading to significant network overhead and data corruption. Typically, the help desk and/or desktop team are responsible for the aftermath – restoring PST files from backup or repairing a corrupt PST file.
A growing remote workforce, which now represents a bigger portion of your user population, will need to access PSTs on the corporate network if they are not stored locally. This means an active VPN connection, additional VPN licensing and bandwidth utilization. Bringing all end-user content into a modern platform ensures transparent access and untethers your workforce.
Unable to Control PSTs?
PST files sprawled throughout regional offices and data centers represent a substantial blind spot when it comes to knowing where sensitive corporate data is stored – they simply cannot be easily managed or retained per corporate record retention policies. As such, PST files represent a major source of potential compliance and data leakage issues. To reduce corporate risk profiles centralizing and controlling end user PST files to solutions like Office 365 is an optimal scenario in any enterprise environment.
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