IT leaders fear data fragmentation is putting businesses at risk

82% see decision making hurt by data fragmentation. 93% struggling to control corporate data. 83% see security risks as data is spread across corporate or ‘Shadow IT’ networks.

London, U.K. –  IT managers believe that fragmentation of corporate data across their IT infrastructure and an emerging ‘Shadow IT’ network of user devices or consumer cloud services outside their control, is putting their organizations at risk and driving up costs. New research out today from Freeform Dynamics shows over 80% of respondents believe effective business decision making is hampered by data availability and inconsistency issues. 83% are concerned about the security of their corporate data as it is increasingly dispersed across their network and outside. Getting the situation under control is also proving difficult with 93% saying that tracking and managing critical corporate data is now a big challenge, with the associated costs highlighted by 84% as being a further concern. 

The report ‘Storage Anywhere and Everywhere – dealing with the challenges of data fragmentation’ is the result of interviews with 300 IT professionals in mid-sized organizations across the USA and UK completed in April 2013. The independent report was sponsored by Mimecast. An infographic best practice guide and the full report can be found at

Key data:

The key findings of the report are:

Dale Vile, Research Director, Freeform Dynamics commented: “IT staff are finding it extremely hard to manage and protect corporate data vital to their business as it fragments across their own infrastructure and the so-called ‘Shadow IT’ network. Managing the complexity and the storage overhead is expensive, and protecting the data is a security and business-continuity risk. Despite broad acknowledgement of these issues, only a handful of our respondents appear to be in proper control.”

Matthew Ravden, Chief Strategy Officer, Mimecast, added: “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 it 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, and phenomena like SharePoint bloat, 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 is no question that they represent a genuine security and compliance risk for IT.

“The elites in this survey show that there are 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 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.”

Further detail on the research:


Study sample

The study upon which this report is based was designed, executed and interpreted on an independent and objective basis by Freeform Dynamics Ltd. Data was gathered via in-depth telephone interviews with 300 respondents from SMBs or Small Enterprises across the USA and UK. All of those participating were either responsible for, or intimately involved in, information related policy, planning and decision-making in their organisation. 33% of respondents were from the UK and 67% from the USA.


About Freeform Dynamics

Freeform Dynamics is a research and analysis firm. We track and report on the business impact of developments in the IT and communications sectors. As part of this, we use an innovative research methodology to gather feedback directly from those involved in IT strategy, planning, procurement and implementation. Our output is therefore grounded in real-world practicality for use by mainstream IT professionals. For further information or to subscribe to the Freeform Dynamics free research service, please visit or contact us via


About Mimecast

Mimecast delivers cloud-based email management for Microsoft Exchange, including archiving, continuity and security. By unifying disparate and fragmented email environments into one holistic solution that is always available from the cloud, Mimecast minimizes risk and reduces cost and complexity, while providing total end-to-end control of email. Founded in the United Kingdom in 2003, Mimecast serves more than 7,000 customers and 1.8 million users worldwide and has offices in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Channel Islands.

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