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Aussie businesses struggling with data and storage strategies

Australian businesses are struggling to implement successful data management and storage strategies, according to new research from data centre, colocation and interconnection solutions Digital Realty.

The survey of more than 200 IT leaders across Australia revealed that rapid data creation, lack of investment, security challenges, storage complexity, and sustainability are all factors in data neglect and strategy failure.     

Evolving data and infrastructure requirements  

The volume of data being generated is a key challenge for organisations - it's estimated that the Internet of Things (IoT) alone will generate more than 500 zettabytes of data per year, according to Ciscos Global Cloud Index. With this in mind, 90% of IT leaders reported concerns about how they will deal with their increasing quantities of data, and the corresponding data gravity effect. Similarly, 87% of Australian IT leaders surveyed are wondering how they will manage and integrate related data services across multiple external providers. 

Despite continued data growth, 81% of organisations feel their data strategies are being hindered by senior executives choosing to invest in other areas of the business, the survey shows. As a result, 88% of IT leaders admitted struggling to manage and secure budget to implement their data strategies.  

Getting the basics right  

The survey suggests a core challenge amongst organizations is not having yet achieved the basics when it comes to their data strategies. Firstly, there is a lack of clarity around which business unit owns which data (reported by 79% of respondents). Additional issues for IT leaders include: 

  • 85% find it a challenge to get sufficient connectivity within their data centre 
  • 89% admit securely storing their data to be a challenge 
  • 89% find staying up to date, and complying with government legislation is tough 

"Lack of senior buy-in, coupled with budget constraints, will create ongoing challenges when securing, organising and gleaning insights from data effectively," says Mark Smith, managing director, Asia Pacific, Digital Realty.

"With data generation continuing to grow, organizations must take a holistic approach from the top-down to ensure their infrastructure meets changing customer demands. This means viewing data infrastructure, whether on-premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid setup, as a strategic tool to support key business objectives," he explains.

With data gravity remaining a big concern amongst IT leaders, the complexity around the management and integration of data is increasing too. For example, almost three quarters of respondents (74%) believe their use of cloud services will increase over the next 12 14 months. 

In addition, 95% of IT leaders indicate that a data centres ability to integrate co-located and fully managed services is important when considering prospective data centres. And, 98% of respondents indicate that connectivity will continue to be important. This showcases the growing need for the adoption of tools that can meet the new data, control and networking demands of global enterprises. 

"It is becoming increasingly clear that organisations face considerable roadblocks when implementing their data management strategy," says Smith.

"As enterprises adapt IT strategies, seemingly on the fly, to meet evolving demands we see a stronger need for tools, clouds, networks and resources, such as our own PlatformDIGITAL, to address the growing challenges posed by data gravity."

The survey showed more than three quarters (80%) of IT leaders indicate that the use of renewable energy and low carbon footprint is important when considering a prospective data centre and looking at their data strategies. In fact, one-in-three say they will not consider a data centre that doesn't have a sustainability plan.