New Research Shows Growing Data Fragmentation a Serious Concern

This week we joined forces with independent analysts Freeform Dynamics and commissioned research into the impact that growing data fragmentation is having on IT professionals in the UK and U.S. You can get a summary of the report, a 1 page infographic best practice guide and the full report here.

As we expected data fragmentation is a very pressing issue for customers – and not just from a technology or IT infrastructure perspective. 82% of respondents see their business decision making being hampered or hurt as a result of data fragmentation.

Fragmentation of corporate data across their IT infrastructure and the emergence of a ‘Shadow IT’ network of user devices or consumer cloud services outside their control, is also putting their organizations at risk. 83% are concerned about the security of their corporate data as it’s increasingly dispersed across their network and outside.

That’s not all. Getting the situation under control is also proving difficult with 93% saying that tracking and managing critical corporate data is now a big challenge. And of course it’s also driving up management and infrastructure costs – 84% highlighted that costs were a concern and many feel they've lost control of this.

Today’s CIOs are much less managers of IT real estate than custodians of corporate data. Their focus is on securing the all-important data, storing and managing its cost effectively, and then making it work harder for both end users and the business as a whole. This task is tough enough with information being siloed around the enterprise but when you add in consumer devices and ‘personal cloud services’, it becomes almost impossible for a CIO to really know where valuable corporate information is being stored. On the one hand, it’s hard to stop the use of these services, but on the other there’s no question that they represent a genuine security and compliance risk for IT.

The small number of expert or elite respondents in this survey show that there’re ways to tackle data fragmentation, and if policies and technologies are adopted before the problem becomes too widespread, it’s still quite possible to harness the data for the benefit of the business. It’s also clear that archiving solutions like Mimecast’s own can play a major role here, enforcing DLP and retention policies, fulfilling compliance requirements and giving the CIO a single view of all the critical corporate data.

Here are some of the key findings but find out more here:

  • 82% of IT managers see decision making hampered by data availability issues and 77% by data inconsistency.
  • 93% are struggling to control critical corporate data. 84% believe storage costs are running out of control.
  • 83% see security risks as their corporate data fragments across the private and public network, with 38% already experiencing the issues acutely.
  • 92% see email as a common means of storing and sharing critical data within corporations. 62% say that local offline email stores – for example, PSTs on desktops, are frequently used for storing business information – compounding the risk.