Symantec: Half of enterprise data is stored outside the datacentre

As mobile computing and cloud services go mainstream, only 50% of an organisation's information is in its own datacentre, says Symantec

Globally, almost half (46%) of enterprise information is being stored outside of its own datacentre, with 23% stored on the cloud as mobile computing and cloud services go mainstream, according to the State of Information Report 2012 from Symantec.

The State of Information Report 2012 Report, launched at Symantec Vision 2012 in Barcelona, highlighted the significant effect of cloud computing and mobility on businesses today.

“With mobile devices and cloud giving employees access to information from nearly anywhere, we're also seeing more sensitive information living beyond the traditional IT boundaries," said Francis deSouza, group president, Enterprise Products and Services at Symantec. 

"This is creating concern about how to best protect this information."

The study found that 12% of business data resides on private or hybrid cloud and 11% of data on the public cloud. The advantages in cost and agility presented by cloud computing are leading to significant use of the cloud to store business information, according to Symantec.

Some 24% of data is stored on mobile devices, including laptops (10%), smartphones (7%), and tablets (7%).

The report revealed that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are outpacing larger businesses when it comes to storing information outside the traditional datacentre firewall (53% against 46%).

While cloud and mobile computing bring efficiency and scalability to businesses, more than a quarter of respondents said they had experienced challenges as a result. More than a third said they had experienced the exposure of confidential information as a result of lost or stolen mobile devices.

Other issues included the inefficiency in finding the relevant data as a large proportion of business information was “unorganised” or “difficult to find”. 

Even within the datacentre infrastructure firewall, the storage utilisation was just 31%, dipping even lower outside the datacentre.

In light of this shift beyond the datacentre, CIOs should focus on the data rather than devices or datacentres, Symantec recommended. 

It also urged IT professionals to follow de-duplication and archiving strategies to protect the growing data, while keeping datacentre storage hardware from sprawling.

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