Business Concerns Over 'Secondary Data'
A study by data protection and management company ‘Cohesity’ has shown that most companies store up to 10 copies of their 'secondary data' in different locations and must use multiple products to manage it.
The Problem With Secondary Data
Secondary data (not production data) e.g. all the data that a company collects from other sources such as reports, stats, information from trade / industry publications etc tends to be stored by businesses over time in the hope that it has / will have value to the business, could help the business to avoid problems, and could reveal more business opportunities with analysis. One main problem with the storing of secondary data, which has long been known about, is that it is often fragmented and / or trapped e.g. it is stored across many clouds, remote offices / edge locations, and / or is trapped inside a siloed infrastructure. This can result in problems such as the cost, complication and confusion of duplicated copies stored in different places and using resources to maintain and store data that may not be serving the current needs of the digital business, or adding value because of how it is stored.
Not surprisingly, the research by Cohesity, a company that offers platforms where all secondary data can be stored, appears to back up the fact that companies have a problem with secondary data fragmentation. For example, the results of the survey, which drew upon responses from 250 UK IT decision-makers as part of a wider study involving 650 IT decision-makers in the US, France, Germany, Australia and Japan, found that most UK organisations store up to 10 copies of the same secondary data, use four or five different products to manage it, and keep it in up to four locations. These locations may include two or three different public cloud storage providers.
The research showed that the average number of copies of the same datasets of secondary data held by UK respondents is five, and that around 30% of IT teams’ time is spent managing secondary data.
The research findings indicated that 92.5% of UK respondents store multiple copies of production data in separate locations because their disaster recovery (DR) policies say they must, but when it comes to the reasons for storing so much secondary data, the findings are less clear.
The research findings do, however, show that there has been a big increase in secondary storage data volumes e.g. in 2016 to 2017 the UK average is was 38.5% rise. This trend is also predicted to continue.
Redundant Copies In The Cloud
The research findings show that 41% of UK organisations replicate redundant copies of data held in one public cloud to another public cloud.
Many UK businesses appear to be storing increasing amounts of secondary data in a fragmented way with no clear plan on the horizon about what to do with it all. Instead of being able to organise the data and use it to generate value and competitive advantages, many businesses are wasting money and resources in keeping often duplicated data stored in limbo across disparate locations.
Businesses may be able to save themselves money and turn the secondary data burden into a value-generating asset by switching to a secure, paid-for consolidated platform solution. This could help solve the current fragmentation problems, free-up resources, could help businesses to start using the data productively, and help businesses to find an effective way of managing what looks likely to be an increasing amount of secondary data going forward.