Increased data volumes causing major problems

Growing data and storage volumes are causing major problems for many UK companies, with some recording a 200 percent increase in the amount of data their organisation now holds, according to the latest survey on business continuity and IT infrastructure issues from PMP Research.

Overall, 82 percent of the respondents say that data volumes have risen substantially compared to two years ago and 86 percent report a similar rise in storage requirements.

Greater use of e-mail emerges as the main culprit in this, with 71 percent currently taking active steps to control the use of e-mail. Popular options include limiting the size or number of attachments (54 percent), introducing archiving guidelines (40 percent), limiting employees’ personal use (34 percent) and changing procedures for sending mailings to contact lists (30 percent).

Making the IT infrastructure easier to maintain and control is now a higher priority than reducing infrastructure running costs or cutting the costs of new IT investment. A third of companies have already sought to rationalise the number of servers in use, with 41 percent indicating they will do so in future.

One indication of how seriously companies take these challenges is that a third (34 percent) now have a board level representative for business continuity and IT infrastructure issues. And many are also looking for external help to get their infrastructure in shape. More than half (59 percent) already outsource some or all of their requirements in this area, with a similar proportion planning to do so in the future.

Networked storage options are gaining in popularity. While 46 percent of the sample currently use directly attached storage (DAS), only half (22 percent) expect to do so in future. In comparison, 52 percent use network attached storage (NAS) and 42 percent are already using storage area networking (SAN).

And new corporate governance and data privacy legislation is also having an impact on this area. A quarter of the sample have already introduced new software to meet requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley, while 22 percent intend to do so in the future.

For this survey PMP Research polled a range of UK-based organisations from a cross-section of industry sectors. More than half the sample had a turnover greater than £150 million.