9 out of 10 Indian IT Decision Makers Hoard Data: Veritas Research

Research shows digital hoarding behaviour is pervasive which poses serious financial, security and data management risks to organizations

Veritas Technologies has released the Data Hoarders research study showing that 90 percent of IT decision makers (ITDMs) in Indian organisations admit they are hoarders of data and digital files. Following its Data Genomics project that analysed tens of billions of files and their attributes from many of its customers’ unstructured data environments, Veritas conducted a study to analyse the data storage habits of ITDMs and global office professionals.

The research, commissioned by Veritas, was conducted among 400 Indian office professionals and ITDMs to look into how individuals manage data. Significant concerns regarding data hoarding were highlighted, with 90 percent of all respondents indicating that they store data that could be potentially harmful to their organizations. These include: unencrypted personal records, job applications to other companies, unencrypted company secrets and embarrassing employee correspondence.

As per the release, the findings highlighted that ITDMs are hoarding their digital files and saving 55 percent on average of all the data they create. While this indicates that data hoarding behaviour is common across organizations, many office professionals, 68 percent, admit that they wouldn’t trust a data hoarder to turn in a project on time, which is significantly more than office pros globally (48 percent) and more than any other country surveyed. Respondents are also willing to do the unexpected in order to keep the files they’ve hoarded, giving up their clothes and weekends rather than deleting their files. Almost half of the respondents, 48 percent, would rather work weekends for three months than get rid of all of their digital files. Meanwhile in India, 39 percent would rather throw out all of their clothes than all of their digital files.

A significant majority of ITDMs were overwhelmed by the extent and amount of data that they are hoarding. 92 percent of ITDMs frequently take time away from their daily responsibilities to deal with data hoarding – which is significantly more than ITDMs globally (76%). In addition, 86 percent of office professionals admit to abandoning efforts to organize and delete their old digital files because it’s too overwhelming. Employees struggle to determine if data has long-term importance or value. As a result, 49 percent of ITDMs have heard employees say they are afraid they’ll eventually need to refer to the data again.

The amount of data their company stores would increase the time it takes to respond to a data breach, according to 96 percent of ITDMs. Moreover, what is being retained could itself be harmful, with 94 percent of ITDMs and 87 percent of office professionals admitting they retained items that could be detrimental to their employer or their own career prospects. These include: unencrypted personnel records, job applications to other companies, unencrypted company secrets and embarrassing employee correspondence. Personal files make up quite a bit of the “junk” saved, with 98 percent of ITDMs admitting to saving unnecessary personal files.

Balaji Rao, Managing Director, Veritas Technologies, India said, “Data is growing at an exponential rate and residing in different platforms in today’s digital economy. More and more enterprises are faced with the complex challenge of managing this exponential data growth. Digital data hoarding is one of the biggest IT concerns for businesses across India and globally. The research shows that 92 percent of the ITDMs in India feel that their company is a digital hoarder and if left unaddressed, this could lead to potential cost and productivity implications. As India moves towards a digitally empowered society, the ability to effectively manage data and draw insights from their information will offer enterprises a competitive edge.”

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