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Research reveals top challenges in data management


Quantum Corporation has released new survey data that reveals the most common challenges organisations struggle with around effective data management, storage and analysis. The survey, conducted by ESG Research in fall 2021, queried hundreds of IT professionals and line-of-business leaders across North America, the UK and Asia-Pacific.

Unstructured data is expanding at massive volumes and remains key to business growth – according to the survey seven out of ten management teams put their data at the core of growth — but there are key trends emerging that will have an impact on the success of capitalising on this data moving forward.

The survey findings paint a picture of changing data models that create management challenges, leaving data more vulnerable to security issues, such as ransomware attacks, that can have a devastating impact on businesses.

Unstructured data management, storage complexity and cost remain barriers to adoption, resulting in valuable data being discarded or mismanaged

  • Respondents see unstructured data as underleveraged and overly complex: 52% of c-level respondents strongly agree that the opportunity exists for their organisation to better leverage its existing data to create business value. Despite its promise, 38% strongly agreed that the complexity and volume of data produced makes it difficult to understand what data can be used to generate business value.
  • Data quality and storage costs most often inhibit data management strategies: Ensuring data quality (42%) and data storage costs (38%) are the top two challenges cited when it comes to data management.
  • Data retention is top of mind: 78% of organisations do not store data on primary storage for the amount of time they would like to. 88% of respondents say retaining more data longer is an avenue to greater business value creation, but 80% of respondents say determining which data to delete and when is complex and time consuming.
  • Organisations struggle with when to delete or store data: More than half of the organisations surveyed (58%) feel they have recently eliminated data with value. Privacy protection and compliance related pain points are the top reasons why valuable data is being discarded before it can create business value.

Data sprawl and hybrid cloud models create vulnerable environments

  • Data continues to be distributed and mobile: 78% of survey respondents said their organisation frequently migrates data between environments (cloud, on-prem, edge), with a plurality opting for a hybrid cloud model that stores most data on a public cloud infrastructure, with some data remaining on-premises.
  • Data spawl makes management more challenging: 88% of respondents confirmed that distributed data complicates implementing an end-to-end data strategy.
  • Data migration becomes a security concern: 87% of respondents say securely moving data from one environment to another causes them concern. This trend combined with a lack of formal data retention and destruction strategy – nearly 3 out of 4 organisations represented (74%) have not formalised their data retention/data destruction strategies – creates an environment rich for ransomware and cyber-attacks.

Growing cybersecurity threats require new approaches

  • Ransomware attacks in the enterprise are growing: Two out of five respondents reported that their organisation had been a victim of a successful ransomware attack in the last two years, with 82% of organisations defaulting to paying the ransom.
  • Ransomware can have an impact beyond budgets: In addition to the cost of the ransom itself, attacks can have an impact on organisation productivity – the survey found that the median cost for ransoms was reported as $375K – which equates to the cost of approximately 2.1 hours of downtime for a mission-critical workload.
  • Security concerns are growing, but strategy is lacking: Out of those surveyed, 87% of respondents say their executives are concerned about future ransomware attacks and on the other hand, just 6% of organisations impacted could restore from an air-gapped backup solution.
  • Cost-effective data retention is critical: Storing data longer can increase resiliency and empower data monetisation — 65% of our respondents say their organisation would be better equipped to recover from an attack if they were able to retain their data for longer.

An increase in enterprise security threats, coupled with concerns around data retainment, cost, data sprawl and cloud-based management models, as well as a lack of response strategy, points to an industry-wide need for more comprehensive and cost-effective data management solutions.

“The research we conducted for Quantum underscores the absolute need for enterprises to have a data management strategy in place—including storing, archiving, accessing and analysing the massive amounts of data these organisations generate,” said Scott Sinclair at ESG. “Without the right solutions and strategy in place, organisations are missing out on the potential value of this data and leaving themselves open to exorbitant costs and risks of ransomware and other cyberthreats.”


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