The Hidden Costs Of Data Management

Causes and Conditions of the Data Explosion

Innovation and insight are primary drivers of the data explosion. Through advances in technology, the quality of data and the ways we use it are improving vastly.

Innovation Means Higher Quality and Larger Formats

High-resolution audio, video, images, rich content and other high-volume formats are placing further demands on organisations. The Internet of Things is also playing an increasingly important role. Cisco estimates that there are now more than 14 billion “things” connected to the internet, all of which are generating information that has to be captured, stored and managed.3

Insight Drives Longer Retention Practices

To reap the rewards of Big Data, companies now gather and store more customer and operational data for longer. They are mining emails, databases and documents to improve their day-to-day operations and inform longterm strategic goals.

A Changing Culture

Contending with the ever-increasing volume of information is one thing. But organisations like yours are now also facing new laws, regulations and guidelines that carry stiff penalties if data is not handled properly.

This regulatory and legal landscape is changing as it catches up with technology and it’s difficult and timeconsuming to keep up with data management best practices. The growing number of global operations adds to the complexity.

Trends like BYOD, social media and cloud storage services are blurring the line between work and personal life. Organisations need to be aware of the risk of losing control of their data.

If Dropbox was successfully breached, who’d have access to the corporate data your employees may be storing on it?

How Well Are You Managing Your Data?

It may not be one of your top priorities right now. But it will be soon.

The torrent of data growth is now accompanied by new and more stringent data management regulations and laws. This makes it imperative for you to proactively manage your operational and customer data. And this isn’t just about reaping competitive rewards. It’s about maintaining your reputation as a competent, credible business – and ultimately the customer and vendor trust that is key to your survival as a business.

Beware of the keep-everything culture. You need to avoid an array of rising data management costs and the lost productivity. They can stifle innovation and hurt your bottom line. We can help.

The Rising Risk of Data Management

In a 2014 global compliance survey, Thomson Reuters reported that 75% of respondents expect the pace of regulatory change to increase.

In the US, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires specific sets of data to be retained for six years. The “safeguards rule” in the Gramm-Leach- Bliley Act requires financial institutions to create and document a security plan that describes the company’s methods of protecting clients’ information.

Costs related to e-discovery also continue to rise. In 2013, the RAND Institute for Civil Justice found that collecting, processing, and reviewing information for e-discovery cost approximately $17,000 per gigabyte.

In the US, patent cases, class action suits, and other complex litigation generate enormous e-discovery costs that can exceed $1 million.7

Data Growth and Your IT and Operational Costs

Data growth can have considerable consequences on your internal operations. These may include:

  • Negative Impact on Budget
    Soaring data growth is driving storage into unsustainable territory. Data storage is growing by roughly 35% each year.8 Even companies with healthy IT budgets will feel the cost pressure from this increasing storage volume.
  • More Responsibility for IT
    Accelerating data growth means more work for IT. For every 1 terabyte of primary storage, organisations also create between 4 and 6 terabytes of copies for backup purposes. This responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of your IT organisation.
  • Loss of Productivity
    Data isn’t only drowning your IT staff. Employees from any department can spend an excessive and costly amount of time searching for the information they need to do their job effectively.

The Hidden Costs of Data

Power and cooling

Information is the great business asset of the digital age and it runs on physical devices. Whether it’s a server, data storage device, network switch or some other piece of equipment, it requires power and cooling. The more data you handle, the more of these costs you’ll incur.


In this world of exploding data, property expenses aren’t often included in the cost conversation. As you handle more information, you may need to add new physical locations. They will add additional challenges and costs related to leasing, security and other sitespecific requirements.


Upkeep is an often overlooked expense. You’ll need to add headcount to keep your devices in peak working order. In addition, you’ll need people to staff any additional facilities that you purchase or lease to house your IT equipment.


If you follow a keepeverything strategy, it will inevitably lead to an overwhelming collection of legacy hardware and software. And at a cost – you’ll need people who are expert in how they run. Eventually, data migration to new systems is likely to lead to more complications and expense.

Big Data

Reaping the rewards of Big Data calls for processing, storing and moving large volumes of information through different systems. By retaining too much, you’ll dull your analytical insights and risk missing out on knowledge that sharpens your competitive edge.

Brand Protection

You need the right data storage and management policies to protect against the risk of leaking sensitive documents, emails or other information that can damage your company’s reputation. What’s more, data mismanagement can compound litigation issues and lead to negative public relations.

Moving Towards an Effective Strategy

What does a robust data management strategy look like?

What if you could efficiently and safely retain the right information for the right amount of time? This would help your organisation thrive while avoiding incurring costs.

You’ll need a cohesive plan that solves every part of the data management equation — from the time data is created to the time it’s destroyed.


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