Unstructured data costs hit $US2.1 million per year: survey

A new report into the cost of compliance associated with storing unstructured data identifies an average cost of $US2.1 million per year.

The Ponemon Institute conducted the research for networking vendor Novell, to look at the storage, control and compliance challenges that derive from the proliferation of unstructured data such as documents, presentations and spreadsheets.

Using a benchmark analysis of approximately 100 organisations, Ponemon Institute researchers found that compliance costs are up to six-tomes higher for smaller-sized organisations.

It also notes that heavily regulated industries such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, communications and healthcare are susceptible to the highest compliance costs, incurring an average of $US2.5 million annually.

The most expensive compliance costs associated with the storage of unstructured information include: e-discovery, access governance and internal auditing activities. Together, these activities cost businesses over $US1.9 million annually.

The results of the study present a strong business case for file management solutions that help customers efficiently manage unstructured data based on today's regulated business environment.

"Early evidence suggests that companies deploying enabling technologies that reduce the complexity of file or volume management can decrease the overall compliance cost associated with the storage of unstructured information," said Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of the Ponemon Institute.

"The struggle to manage and maintain file systems on a regular basis is a consistent challenge for businesses. Factor in crippling compliance costs, and it's clear that organizations need a better way to intelligently govern their information," said Sophia Germanides, product marketing manager, Novell.

"To reduce the pain points associated with unstructured data, Novell recommends automation based on identity which helps organisations plan and deploy an efficient and cost-effective storage infrastructure as well as execute on compliance and governance requirements."

Novell is promoting its File Management Suite ans a means of establishing control over their file storage environment using three Novell products that together assess, provision, and optimize file storage based on user identity.

Novell File Reporter inventories file systems to provide visibility into an organization's storage patterns, delivering intelligence that can be used to define policies for storage compliance and management. Novell Storage Manager automates all user and group storage administration tasks driven by customized business policies. Novell Dynamic File Services optimizes the use of storage resources by transparently directing less valuable files to less expensive storage devices in a way that lowers costs and improves backup processes.

"Since launching Novell File Management Suite, we've seen great success among our customer base in a variety of vertical markets," continued Germanides. "No longer do organisations have to just 'save everything,' hoping to meet compliance requirements. The solution gives organizations a logical way to govern data while driving down excessive administrative costs."