Data Management

03:33 PM
Becca Lipman
Becca Lipman
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IT Budgets Struggle With Data Growth, Survey Finds

Data is growing exponentially and IT managers are worried about budgeting for future storage. More sustainable solutions must come from the business lines.

Technology executives overwhelmingly agree their greatest struggle is managing the rapid growth of data and the resulting strain it is placing on their budgets, according to a recent survey of 350 IT managers. 

The survey, which ran over a few months, was conducted by data storage solutions Tarmin and Angel Business Communications.

Sixty-six percent of respondents said they are expected to manage and store an exponentially growing amount of data, but do not have the budget to continue adding new servers. And while the cost of storing data is trending downwards it doesn't keep up with the rate of data growth. 

"It's really that disparity between rate of data growth and the downward trend of storage cost and the flattening of storage budgets," says Joseph Lynn, VP of marketing for Tarmin. "People are looking for new and innovative ways to address that."



Lynn gives an example of a bank client that reportedly stored 300 petabytes of data this year, and is facing 50% growth per year. "When you think of that rate of growth, people are literally turning up with bandload and bandload of disks at this data center where you can't fill it fast enough to keep up with performance, and the amount of money people are talking about is hundreds of millions just on storage." Even if the budgets can keep up, IT needs a more sustainable model, he argues.

"Don't just look at the growing data supply and storage as an overhead, as the nuts and bolts," he adds. "Data is the crowned jewels of the organization. These digital assets can enable business to gain agility, to reduce risk and perform as a holistic organization in a more effective way."



Driving change: IT problem to business problem


Doing more with less is a burden IT has become accustomed to, but this disconnect has a potentially damaging impact on business lines. Because while it is one thing for the IT team to struggle to store data, but it is quite another when it becomes a problem of not being able to comply or present under regulator e-discovery requests because data is stored in a non strategic, frankenstein way. It's also damaging when the company can't use data or assets to compete against rivals in the marketplace. 



"There's too much data on the ground level, and at the end of the day that's the technical challenge," says Lynn. "We want to be using this data as a competitive asset for our organization, and that's really the next step that this data evolution is growing towards. The Big Data movement is all about that."



The goal of data managers is universally to remove silos, run analytics on structured and unstructured data, de-duplicate and consolidate existing data across platforms, and get over compliance challenge by knowing what's transpiring across the organization. But these solutions are rarely driven by IT, it needs to come from the business executives like chief compliance or data officers who can enact policies and governance to manage in a sustainable way.

Without initiatives from business lines, and flat budgets for IT managers, Tarmin concludes IT teams will be forced to take on short-term data solutions that will make small dents in the growth challenge. In that case, "the lack of storage capacity is only deferred rather than resolved entirely, and this will lead to more complications in the future."

In other words, the sooner business lines get involved in addressing their looming storage crisis, the better.

Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio
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Byurcan
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Byurcan,
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8/15/2014 | 9:34:48 AM
Data, data everywhere
As the sheer amount of data continues to grow, this will obviosuly only continue to become more of an issue. It's definitely not just an IT issue anymore.
IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
8/15/2014 | 12:07:04 PM
Re: Data, data everywhere
It's also a privacy issue and a regulatory mandate to save all of this data on customers. The hard part is not only storing it but making sure it can be retrieved in the event that a regulator knocks on the door. So I've heard data management executives talk about tiering their data so that priority data is immediately accessible on demand.

But yes, this massive growth in storage is consuming budget for the business side.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2014 | 11:55:50 AM
Re: Data, data everywhere
Yes, good point. Regulators want financial isntitutions to not only haave access to this data, but to be able to produce it quickly.
IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2014 | 12:03:26 PM
Re: Data, data everywhere
I am not an expert on this, but regulators want on-demand access to data which could cost more than data that is in long-term storage.  I wish that one of our data experts would weigh in on this point to clarify where the costs are rising. Is it the storage medium, the need for on-demand access or the exponential growth in amounts of data that need to be stored?
Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
8/19/2014 | 2:03:07 PM
"Crown Jewels"
I like the comment about data being the "crown jewels" for these organizations. That's been the case in financial services for a long time, but I would guess that soon that reality will hold true for companies in many other industries and they become more and more reliant on their customer data.
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Author
8/19/2014 | 3:47:24 PM
Re: "Crown Jewels"
I agree Jon, it's important that FIs view the data not in the context of regulatory requirements but as an opportunity to grow the business, gain competitive advantage and other good things. At the beginning of the article I was rolling my eyes, "Jeez, more complaining about regulation," so I was glad that the source recognizes that all this data is an incredible asset and that doing a good job of storying and managing it is not a burden but a benefit.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
8/25/2014 | 10:57:51 PM
Re: Data, data everywhere
I'm definitely not the data expert but it would seem to me the answer is all of the above. companies are getting better at tiering the data and investing in more efficient storage units, but those savings that cant compete with the volume. At some point, they have to change their approach to data storage altogether to give regulators what they need and release pressure on IT budgets.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
8/25/2014 | 11:02:01 PM
Re: "Crown Jewels"
The way industry guys talk about data storage, the business benefit is like the light at the end of a long dark obstacle-ridden tunnel. They can see it, but it's a hard road ahead.
pudnhead
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pudnhead,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/26/2014 | 6:45:40 AM
It's more than just regs
Regulation and compliance is only part of the reason why data retention is growing. Yes, it is important to store data for regulatory purposes, but we are finding there is much more we can do with data we have the right tools to analyze it. It takes a while, and there are many bumps along the way, but don't let the data you have go to waste (and sit on a server somewhere). Use it!
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