Unstructured data growth is big, but not surprising: CommVault

Information management provider instead highlights a need for better data management practices

One of the biggest drivers for change in 2013 was the rapid growth of unstructured data, according to CommVault A/NZ area vice president, Bryan Stibbard.

Stibbard bases this observations based on how CommVault’s customers in A/NZ recognised the business value of large volumes of information.

Whether it is video and email through to CAD documents and medical records, Stibbard said local businesses are optimistic in turning the data into “true information assets” to improve business efficiency, end user value and competitive advantage.

“Recent research we completed with IDC indicated that unstructured data constitutes a higher percentage of data environments in A/NZ than the average across the rest of Asia, or 79 versus 87 per cent,” he said.

Stibbard adds that there is an even greater difference from the APAC average when compared to the amount of analysis being actively applied to unstructured data sets in A/NZ at 76 versus 62 per cent.

To demonstrate how significant the shift was in the last 12 months, Stibbard said government and education organisation, such as Defence Housing Australia, Australian Federal Department of Treasury, Australian National University and TasWater, began actively identifying, managing and interrogating datasets this year.

Manufacturers or resource companies such as Fonterra, INPEX, Consolidated Minerals and OneSteel were other CommVault clients that took the same route with their data in order to achieve efficiency savings in 2013.

Better handling needed

The rapid growth of unstructured data in 2013 may have not been an unforeseen trend to Stibbard, though the lack of efficient practices around it did catch him off guard.

“The only surprising aspect this year was how many other organisations still aren’t choosing to utilise elementary data management techniques such as duplication, backup recovery and archiving,” he said.

Stibbard warns that they are essentially treading water with “inefficient, repetitive and unproductive” workflows.

“At the same time, their competitors gain significant competitive advantage from data sets that are already available or currently being collected to the majority, but are simply not being used productively,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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