A strategic approach to data management

A strategic approach to data managementIT environments have become increasingly more complex over the years. The exponential growth of data and the resources needed to store and manage it are among the most pressing issues facing IT today.

The Veritas Data Genomics Index reveals that data at the file level has grown by 39% year-over-year for the past seven years. Today, many local organizations deploy data centers to upgrade their infrastructure in order to cope with the growing demand but they seldom examine the data itself.

The report also indicates that 41% of files have remained untouched for three years and 12% have not been opened in the last 7 years. Further, 41% of data is stale, meaning that 9.5 billion files in a 10PB environment have not been touched in more than three years, and enterprises could be spending as much as $20.5 million per year to manage data that hasn’t been touched in three years.

It’s worth noting that content-rich files like presentations, spreadsheets, documents and text files are 20% of the average stale environment, and a great target for file system archiving projects that can reduce storage costs by 50% or more, creating an opportunity for businesses to positively impact their bottom line costsa return of over $2 million in some cases.

Additionally, orphaned files are overly burdensome and while orphaned data is a mere 1.6% of the total file population, it’s 5.1% of the total storage capacity. Those orphaned files are also disproportionately skewed towards content-rich data types, which are 222% larger than the average file.

Another report conducted by Veritas, the Global Databerg Survey, covering 2,550 senior IT decision makers across 22 countries, shows that global IT leaders believe only 15% of their data has business value and the remaining 85% is classified as redundant, obsolete or trivial (ROT), or “dark data”. If left unchecked, this could equate to $3.3 trillion of avoidable storage and management costs by 2020. 

Reports show that IT leaders decide their IT strategies based on data volume instead of the associated value. Moreover, the adoption of cloud applications and storage solutions stimulates the increased reliance on “free” storage. Employees ignoring corporate data policies, treat corporate IT resources as free to use for corporate and personal purposes, storing unstructured data from personal photos, personal ID, legal documents, music, video and games. These three underlying attitudes which permit Databergs to grow daily are allowing the storage budgets to get out of hand quickly while also increasing risk exposure.

Data management in Asia Pacific

From Asia Pacific perspective, 62% of Australia’s stored data is defined as dark, the third highest of the countries surveyed. The highest proportion of clean and identified business critical data was found in China (25%), although China tends to manage the storage costs based on historical data volumes while Australia and Singapore tend to manage the storage costs based on the business value of the data. Furthermore, in terms of employees’ storing behavior, 39% of employees in Singapore store unstructured data on work devices, which is much higher than in most other countries.

Hence, it is imperative for IT leaders to manage data with a holistic approach and rethink the data protection strategy. We can see that many Hong Kong companies are striving to find ways to better protect and manage their data. Gartner reveals that spending on software by Hong Kong enterprises is expected to grow 7.3% in 2016, even though Hong Kong is experiencing economic uncertainty.