European businesses open up on data archiving challenge

Keeping on top of escalating data volumes is one of the biggest challenges facing business in 2017 – particularly in those markets with major compliance considerations.

Which data sets need to be kept in order to meet regulatory requirements? How can it be archived in a cost effective and secure way, and what are the policies and processes that need to be put in place to ensure consistency?

PAC has recently completed a major study that looks at how European businesses are directing their data archiving strategies, how they are evolving from an organizational and process point of view, and how they plan to invest in archiving technology – including cloud services.

As part of the research, PAC spoke with 150 senior executives (including Chief Data Officers, Chief Information Officers and Chief Compliance Officers) with overall responsibility for data management and archiving at large European organisations (>5,000 employees) across multiple industry sectors.

Data retention and management is seen as becoming a “much greater challenge” by almost half of European organisations, with only 4% expecting it to become less of a challenge over time. It is the banks (79%) followed by retailers (62%) who expect data retention to become a mounting problem,

The extent of the challenge is highlighted in the extent to which businesses expect their data storage costs to increase during the next three years. Some 70% expect costs to increase, with almost 50% expecting a hike of up to 50%. But even more startling is the 19% that anticipate growth of between 50% to 100%,, with a small group expecting costs to more than double.

So how do they plan to tackle escalating data volumes? The most common solution for the last four decades has been to purchase more on-premise storage capacity, and 34% of respondents said that this remains a key aspect of their strategy. But it is interesting to see that more companies are turning their attentions to cloud solutions (35%) and the potential that they carry for greater scalability.

The study highlights also some significant gaps and areas of concern.

While just over two thirds of organisations have defined classification categories for their data assets, only a handful have applied them to 100% of their data landscape. Those companies with organisation-wide data retention strategies are not defining them at an application or line-of-business level. The fact that almost a quarter of organisations admit that their current information management strategy is not ready for GDPR, is also a worry given the looming deadline of 2018.

The full report will shortly be available to view from the PAC website.