Data Storage

Cat Videos And Porn: The Dark Data Plaguing UK Businesses

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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New report finds millions of pounds wasted on having to store redundant data in the workplace such as adult material, music, and personal photos

There’s nothing wrong with streaming your favourite video content, whether that’s the latest episode of True Detective on Netflix or Keyboard Cat smashing out a new tune on YouTube, but it seems employees in the UK are still downloading an excessive amount of entirely useless content that is costing their businesses millions.

These so called ‘databergs’, monolithic chunks of redundant ‘dark’ data are stockpiling in European businesses’ cloud servers and hard drives and causing all sorts of headaches for bosses, especially with just 12 percent of the money spent on data storage in an average mid-sized UK business actually being used on business-critical storage.

This is all according to information management firm Veritas, which was this year spun out of cybersecurity giant Symantec. We should take the results of the company’s ‘Databerg Report 2015’ with a pinch of salt considering Veritas’ business goals, but it surprises no one at TechWeekEurope what sort of lunchtime video shenanigans UK employees are getting up to.

Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial

“Data should deliver on its promise and work for the organisation, but it’s apparent that in the UK it is the other way round,” said Veritas senior VP Matthew Ellard.

“The study reveals that one in three companies in the UK store Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial (ROT) data in their corporate networks. A typical midsize company with 500 Terabytes of data wastes nearly a million pounds each year maintaining trivial files, including photos, personal ID doc, music and videos.”

According to the databerg report, up to 59 percent of data stored and processed by UK organisations is invisible and could contain everything from cat videos to adult material, creating a high risk of non-compliance.

dataVeritas’ study found that a typical UK business is reporting dark data rates of 59 percent. Dark data is classified as data that has not actually been classified at all. ROT (redundant, obsolete or trivial) data is standing at 29 percent in the average UK business. This, according to Veritas, leaves just 12 percent of data actually being identifiable as business critical.

“This equates to wasted corporate resources in EMEA of up to estimated £576bn on just storing ROT data if companies don’t change their strategy and culture around information management,” said Veritas.

Veritas said that one of the main causes of these databergs is a growing disregard for corporate data polices by employees, as well as increasing reliance on perceived ‘free’ cloud storage, which is in fact costing bosses arms and legs.

How to solve the databerg problem? Get strict on which data employees can and can’t have, said Veritas. The company also recommends moving more of a company’s storage environments to the cloud, where tighter control can we had on what sort of data is being stored in corporate accounts.

Play us out, Keyboard Cat…