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Environment harm and Data Security top public concern

When it comes to data centres, their impact on the environment and the risk they pose to the security of personal information are revealed as the public’s main concerns, according to a survey commissioned by computer room and data centre specialists, Migration Solutions.

On the Environment:
Across the UK, 54% of those surveyed thought that data centres contributed to climate change, though the majority also said that they believed there were other, more significant, contributors. However, when it comes to public opinion IT in general is emerging as a contributor to environmental damage with two thirds (66%) of those participating in the survey stating that they were concerned about the impact of IT on the environment.

There was some regional variation in responses, with the Midlands, Northern Ireland, and Wales showing the greatest concern over IT’s impact. 70% of respondents from each of these regions expressed some degree of concern, while in the North West over 39% of respondents said they were ’not concerned at all’ about the impact of IT on the environment.

On Personal Data Security:
The storage and security of personal data emerged as a public concern in the survey, with 58% of respondents believing that data centres held a significant amount of their personal data, such as credit card, mobile phone, house and billing information. When it came to data centres in their own companies, security was at best ‘patchy’. Surprisingly, over 43% did not know if their data was backed-up; 20% knew it was backed-up but only on-site (where it would be vulnerable to fire or flood damage); and a further 10% knew for sure that that their company’s data was not backed-up at all.

Overall the barometer of public opinion is against the data centre, but only slightly. 38% of those surveyed said they believed data centres were a necessary evil or expensive drain on company resources, and 24% said they considered them a great support for the business and critical to the IT operation of their company. However, when it comes to the hearts and minds of the British working public there is still everything to play for as the remaining 38% are undecided on their view of the data centre.