Hybrid cloud storage strategy of almost 50% of companies hampered by ‘server huggers’

“Server huggers” at 46 per cent of companies are continuing to insist on keeping data where it can be seen despite the obvious benefits that a hybrid cloud strategy can have.

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A study by Iron Mountain showed that IT teams opt to keep the data safe when it is confidential, sensitive, business-critical, used often, subject to strict regulation, newly created or of business value.

Server hugger is a term coined by Forrester in 2010 that refers to those that want to keep data in view and are cautious about moving it to off-site locations or into the cloud.

Slowly but surely the server hugger culture is on the way out with 37 per cent of respondents opting for a hybrid solution that includes tape, disk and cloud storage and eight per cent are ready to implement a cloud strategy in the coming 12 to 24 months.

Swelling data volumes and increasing confidence in the security and benefits of the cloud are driving the trend even though healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services firms remain particularly cautious.

One example given by Iron Mountain was of a UK healthcare firm with less than 250 employees that stores everything on site as they “are not allowed to store data anywhere else”. Another retailer of a similar size added that it keeps data where it can be seen due to it being too sensitive and business critical to put at risk.

Related: Businesses are getting lax about cloud security

“The IT professionals we spoke to believe that getting storage right is an art rather than an exact science. Most still feel most at ease when they can see and touch their data storage racks – often for very sensible business reasons. However, evolving security risks and the growing need to harness the full value of information is making on-site server storage untenable in the long term. We would advise IT teams to transition to a rich, blended platform that includes a secure off-site data centre and cloud solutions,” said Christian Toon, head of information risk at Iron Mountain.

Iron Mountain obtained the results from a series of interviews with senior IT professionals in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.