Fairy tales and Data Facts - Oyster IMS

Fairy Tales and Data Facts

Once upon a time, there was an occasional item in the mainstream news concerning data. Usually, the data was lost or hacked in some way and the items usually had a broader appeal. Some, like the famous Christmas 2014 Sony Pictures hack, seemed so sensational, involving as it did North Korea, Hollywood film stars, and evidence of staff dalliances, that they have ended up as long-form podcasts (ref: Lazarus Heist on BBC Sounds). There was definitely a feeling that there had to be an “angle” for data stories to get reported and that data loss itself was not a big enough scoop.

But those of us who work in the data management industry, whether it be around privacy, governance or security knew that behind those headlines, data in every organisation was getting out of control and potentially brewing up a whole world of pain. The problem was always quantifying exactly what that pain might be. Quite understandably, the people with responsibility for data, usually CIOs or specialist data managers, tend not to go around explicitly stating their data vulnerabilities and very few are brave enough to put their hands up to say they have data sorted.

So we decided to try and find out for ourselves. Earlier on this year, Oyster IMS commissioned an independent market research firm, Absolute, to survey a minimum of 100 CIOs and ask them to anonymously provide the answers to a set of questions which we thought would help us to understand the data problem in more detail – if indeed we were right about the problem existing in the first place.  We have now published the results of this survey as the “Oyster IMS Data Discovery Insights Report 2021” and it paints a strikingly consistent picture of how well organisations understand the quantity and location of their data as well as the associated costs and risks. Here are the headline findings:

  •  Understanding of the volume and usage of data is variable and rarely complete – only 10% were fully confident that they knew how much unstructured data their company held
  • Growth in all data types is expected to continue over the next two years – spend on data storage and management consumes over half the IT budget in 34% of organisations
  • Risk is increasing, driven by growing data volume – 80% believe that increasing data volumes will drive greater security risks with 58% identifying privacy and data protection as the greatest risk area
  • Most organisations have started initiatives in the last year to understand, reduce or improve their use of data. Success rates have been variable – 73% of organisations were unsuccessful in using their data in new ways
  •  Brexit and COVID-19 present real challenges and are expected to have an impact on data strategies – 53% of respondents stated that the pandemic will have a massive or large impact on their data strategy

You can download the report here.

Nowadays data is big news and there are data-related news stories most days in the national and international media. Here at Oyster IMS, we hope that these findings will allow you to ask questions in your own organisation about the cost and risk associated with the data you create, store and manage. And we hope that this will enable you to put in place appropriate measures to make sure that not only do you not become the subject of one of these news stories but also that you and your data live happily ever after.

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