Bangalore, India - December 13, 2012 -- Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced that 79 percent of organizations globally report increasing complexity in the data center, according to the results of its 2012 State of the Data Center Survey. The survey, which provides insight into the top challenges organizations are grappling with as the data center continues to transform, highlights the underlying drivers of data center complexity, current impacts on the business, and the latest initiatives IT is adopting to mitigate the issues. While the cause of data center complexity stems from a variety of factors, respondents identify implementing an information governance strategy as the main initiative being taken to address data center growing pains. The State of the Data Center findings emphasize the importance of taking steps to intelligently manage organizational resources to rein in operational costs and control information growth.
"The data center is transforming beyond recognition, with the introduction of new technologies into everyday business, and these changes can either act as a sail to catch the wind and accelerate growth, or an anchor holding organizations back," said Anand Naik, managing director- Sales, India and SAARC, Symantec. "The difference is up to organizations who can meet the challenges head on by implementing controls such as standardization or establishing an information governance strategy to keep information from becoming a liability."
Data Center Complexity Pervasive
Organizations of all sizes, industries and regions report increasing complexity within the data center. According to the survey, data center complexity impacts all areas of computing, most notably security and infrastructure, as well as disaster recovery, storage and compliance. Indian respondents rated complexity across all areas fairly evenly (4 or higher out of 10) with security topping the list. 52 percent of respondents rated complexity of storage at 5 or more and 53 percent gave a similar rating for security. The average rating for level of complexity for companies around the world was 6.7.
Effects of Data Center Complexity are Diverse and Costly
Several factors are driving data center complexity. First, respondents reported they are dealing with an increasing number of applications that they consider to be business-critical. A whopping 82 percent of Indian organizations said the number of business-critical applications is increasing or increasing greatly. Other key drivers of data center complexity include the growth of strategic IT trends such as mobile computing (cited by 48 percent of respondents), server and storage virtualization (47 percent each), and social media efforts (44 percent).
The survey revealed that the effects of growing data center complexity are far reaching. The most commonly mentioned impact is higher costs, with 42 percent citing it as an effect of complexity. Other impacts include lost or misplaced data (52 percent), compliance incidents (51 percent), downtime (48 percent) and security breaches (44 percent). Sixty six percent of Indian organizations said they perform somewhat/significantly worse in Disaster Recovery tests because of data center complexity, owing to which over half (53 percent) respondents have less confidence in their DR plan.
The typical organization globally experienced an average of 16 data center outages in the past 12 months, at a total cost of $5.1 million. The most common cause was systems failures, followed by human error, and natural disasters.
IT Taking Steps to Alleviate Complexity
According to the survey, organizations are implementing several measures to reduce complexity, including training, standardization, centralization, virtualization, and increased budgets. However, 50 percent of Indian organizations indicated they lack budgets to deal with data complexity.. The single biggest initiative organizations are undertaking is to implement a comprehensive information governance strategy, defined as a formal program that allows organizations to proactively classify, retain and discover information in order to reduce information risk, reduce the cost of managing information, establish retention policies and streamline their eDiscovery process. Ninety six percent of organizations are either discussing information governance or have implemented trials or actual programs.
The biggest drivers for information governance include security (rated somewhat or extremely important by (65 percent of respondents), the availability of new technologies that make information governance easier (58 percent), increased data center complexity (61 percent), data growth (39 percent), and regulatory issues (58 percent).
Organizations have several goals with information governance, including enhanced security (considered important by 52 percent), ease of finding the right information in a timely manner (57 percent), reduced costs of information management (52 percent) and storage (54 percent), reduced legal and compliance risks (53 and 48 percent, respectively), and a move to the cloud (50 percent).
Following are some recommendations that IT can try to mitigate the effects of data center complexity.
- Establish C-level ownership of information governance. Start with high-ROI projects like data loss prevention, archiving and eDiscovery to preserve critical information, find what you need and delete the rest.
- Get visibility beyond platforms. Understand the business services that IT is providing and all of the dependencies to reduce downtime and miscommunications.
- Understand what IT assets you have, how they are being consumed, and by whom. This will help cut costs and risk. The organization won't buy servers and storage it doesn't need, teams can be held accountable for what they use, and the company can be sure it isn't running out of capacity.
- Reduce the number of backup applications to meet recovery SLAs and reduce capital expenses, operating expenses and training costs.
- Deploy deduplication everywhere to help address the information explosion and reduce the rising costs associated with backing up data.
- Use appliances to simplify backup and recovery operations across physical and virtual machines.
Symantec's 2012 State of the Data Center Survey
Symantec's 2012 State of the Data Center Survey was conducted by ReRez Research in March 2012. The results are based on responses from 2,453 IT professionals at organizations in 34 countries. Respondents included senior IT staff focused on operations and tactical functions, as well as staff members focused on planning and IT management.
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