Veritas Technology LLC has released a report that states obsolete and trivial data could cost European, Middle East and African businesses in the region of R12 trillion by 2020.

The Databerg Report 2015 examined public and private organisations in the EMEA region and how these organisations access and manage their data. The report found that as much as 58% of the data held on South African company servers is “dark” meaning IT professionals are not aware of the holiday snaps and pirated content many South Africans store on company servers.

South African country manager for Veritas, Nick Christodoulou says this has an adverse effect on the data available to companies. But how does so much ‘dark data’ make it onto company storage?

“South African’s employees are one of the worst in the region,” he says. “One in three employees would treat their company’s IT as their own and upload photos, non-approved software or copies of their personal legal and identity documents on corporate networks.”

This dark data is scattered among business critical data that should be carefully  and responsibly protected. The report also identifies redundant, obsolete or trivial (ROT) data that should be deleted regularly or minimised as much as possible.

This collection of data is known as a databerg. A databerg comes into existence when three factors gather to form a perfect storm. These are when IT strategy is focused on volume opposed to value, over reliance on cloud storage and employees simply disregarding company policy.

The result of this, according to Veritas, is that business critical data only accounts for 10% of the databerg in a typical South African organisation compared to the EMEA average of 14%.

Dark data doesn’t only cost companies a large amount of money but can also pose a legal risk as the Westonaria Local Municipality found out when it was caught using illegal software.

For organisations to turn this around ROT needs to be eliminated and properly managed. Similarly a corporate governance strategy regarding unstructured data needs to be implemented and enforced according to Veritas.

[Source – Veritas]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.