Uncontrolled Data Growth Tops UK Companies’ Concerns List

Uncontrolled growth in corporate data is seen as a significant problem for major UK companies, according to a survey commissioned by B2net, an independent storage integrator.

Nearly two-thirds of UK companies (57 per cent) were most concerned with controlling the alarming growth in data demand. This was particularly true of the largest corporates (above 3,000 employees) where 64 per cent wanted to address the exponential growth in data usage.

The survey, conducted by market research agency, Vanson Bourne, showed a real concern (41 per cent) over the high proportion of junk data and the need for tighter control of employee use of storage resources (39 per cent). Controlling staff use was a higher priority (47 per cent) for companies with fewer than 3,000 employees (compared with 30 per cent for larger corporates).

“Unstructured data is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The old approach of simply adding more storage hardware doesn’t work anymore, especially with demand doubling every year or so,” comments Pete Marshall, Senior Technical Consultant at B2net.

“The whole culture of long-term data storage needs to be addressed – from the ground-up. The biggest single change is that staff must be given responsibility for managing their own storage and the type of files that can be stored on the system. Only by giving users guidelines and rules will unfettered storage growth be solved,” states Pete Marshall.

The manufacturing sector was particularly worried about data growth (64 per cent) and creating more awareness amongst employees about storage usage (64 per cent). The financial services industry particularly wanted to eliminate junk data (54 per cent). Legal and compliance issues were also high up the agenda of financial companies (33 and 29 per cent respectively).

The retail, distribution and transportation sector was chiefly worried about data growth (58 per cent) and eliminating junk data (50 per cent). It was also keen to control what data was stored from a legal perspective (31 per cent).

“There are a number a ways that the data growth problem can be addressed,” adds Peter Marshall. “Files can be moved out of the business’ central storage system to cheaper storage mediums. Creating a central storage hub rather than fragmented silos of data and utilising Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) techniques to gain greater control over data usage and growth can all help.”