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by Steve Todd | April 29, 2010


In a previous post I suggested that one of the more promising technologies in the current decade will be object-based storage. Object-based storage systems have qualities that allow them to handle enormous amounts of information (one of the main areas of focus in high-tech right now). A career related to object-based storage may involve building these types of systems. Alternatively it may involve the curation of content stored inside these systems. A curator is a type of digital librarian that is chartered with the long-term maintenance and preservation of digital information.

If these types of careers are not your cup of tea, I’d like to suggest another growing field that is related to explosive information growth. Review the original discussion about information via this familiar picture:

application stores information diagram


The enormous amount of data being generated by applications results in trillions upon trillions of bits being “owned” or “maintained” by a business. These bits may be banking records, emails, videos, x-rays, mortgage applications, legal documents, etc.

Governments around the world have passed laws regarding the governance of these bits. For example, electronic mortgage documents must be held for many years after expiration. Emails about stock trades must be kept for a certain length of time. Deletion of documents involved in a new lawsuit must be prevented. Some government documents must exist forever.

How can an organization effectively govern such a wide sea of bits? How can they prove that they comply with national (and perhaps international) regulations? How can they analyze the bits that they do own and determine whether or not their business is at risk of breaking the law?

This area is commonly referred to as GRC, and it will experience a tremendous (and world-wide) period of growth in the coming years. GRC stands for “governance, risk management, and compliance”. High-tech talent is needed in the development of software applications that can assist businesses in the analysis of their entire information portfolio. Software engineers with a background in both information technology and law will become more valuable. System administrators that have been trained in GRC will be in demand as well. These administrators will run the tools that analyze risk and compliance in complex environments.

How can a job seeker gain knowledge and experience in this field? One of the better options is to sign up for GRC training and/or pursue GRC certification. Another option is to join a GRC community and begin to participate in conversations and attend forums.

One of the market leaders for GRC technology also happens to have a strong social media presence: Archer Technologies. GRC conversations, forums, blogs, and idea exchanges can all be found in the Archer community. Certification and training occurs at different sites around the world; keep checking this list to find the right class in the right geography.

Regardless of how you get started and what company you get started with, don’t neglect this important area. It will lead to interesting career opportunities and perhaps the creation of innovative new product offerings.

Twitter: @SteveTodd
EMC Intrapreneur


Filed Under: Technology