Information glut costing Australia $3 billion a year: Survey

Stop using email as a filing system and deploy tiering storage, suggests Hitachi

Unstructured data coupled with IT outages could be costing the Australian economy up to $3 billion each year, according to storage vendor Hitachi Data Systems (HDS).

In its second bi-annual <i>Great Information Glut</i> report, which was carried out by research firms AMR and Deloitte Access, it found that 40 per cent of Australian companies were suffering from too much information, up from 36 per cent in the 2009 report.

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HDS Australia and New Zealand chief technology officer, Adrian De Luca, said that part of the problem was the rapid digitisation of society, sharing large files and storing of emails.

“At the end of day, these aspects are leading companies to deploy more technology which is generating far more information and fuelling a lot of growth in the data storage requirements in the back end,” he said.

In addition, the Deloitte research showed that up to 70 per cent of enterprise employees accessed data or information systems to do their job. IT outages caused by data gluts meant 17 per cent of companies surveyed were losing sales and 11 per cent had suffered reputational damage.

“Information technology can help improve productivity but if it’s not managed correctly than it adds to the problem,” he said.

“An example of that is the Australian Securities Exchange [ASX] outage of 1 November. It’s not just affecting a particular industry, it has wider ramifications across the economy and that’s why we think it’s so serious,” he said.

The 2011 report also found 49 per cent of companies increased their operational expenditure due to an oversupply of data while 38 per cent reported an inability to recover key files.

According to De Luca, a lack of IT investment due to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and cost pressures was leading to inefficient storage methods. However, archiving emails and using tiered storage could help cut down data volumes.

“There are some quick wins such as dynamic provisioning which can reclaim as much as 30 per cent of unused storage quickly,” he said.

He added that this could be helpful for the 22 per cent of firms surveyed who were struggling to meet reporting requirements due to data gluts.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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Tags information managementHitachi Data Systems (HDS)The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)storage virtualizaton

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