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UK organisations have the second highest rate of ‘Dark’ Data in EMEA

Giant ‘Databerg’ of trivial and obsolete data estimated to cost European businesses £576bn annually by 2020

London, UK. – 27 October, 2015Veritas Technologies LLC, one of the global leaders in backup and recovery solutions, today announced the results of its Databerg Report 2015, which looked at how European organisations across the public and private sector manage their data. Major issues highlighted by the survey include employees treating corporate IT systems as their own personal infrastructure, and management’s over-reliance on cloud storage systems – concerns that will not only be subject to regulatory changes, but which also create a higher risk of data loss.

According to the Databerg Report 2015, 59% of data stored and processed by UK organisations is invisible and could contain everything from cat videos to adult material, creating a high risk of non-compliance. The Databerg report also estimates the average midsized UK organisation holding 1000 Terabytes of information is spending £435,000 annually on Redundant, Obsolete or Trivial (ROT) data, which is known to be useless. This means just 12% of the cost of data storage is known to be business-critical in the UK - one of the lowest clean data scores in the study.

“Data should deliver on its promise and work for the organisation, but it’s apparent that in the UK it is the other way round. The key findings of the Databerg Report 2015 reflect that companies invest a significant amount of resources to maintain data that is totally irrelevant for their businesses,” said Matthew Ellard, Senior Vice President EMEA at Veritas. “The study reveals that one in three companies in the UK store Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial (ROT) data in their corporate networks. A typical midsize company with 500 Terabytes of data wastes nearly a million pounds each year maintaining trivial files, including photos, personal ID documents, music and videos.”

The survey provides insights on how 1,475 respondents in 14 different countries across the EMEA region (including 200 in the UK) are dealing with the challenges surrounding turning data into valued business information. The report introduces a new phenomenon called the Databerg, represented by three major types of data stored by organisations today:

  • Business Critical Data – data identified as being vital to the on-going operation and success of the organisation. Business Critical Data needs to be proactively protected and managed in real time by professionals with clear responsibility to the organisation’s management team
  • ROT Data – data identified as Redundant, Obsolete or Trivial. ROT data needs to be proactively minimised and safely deleted on a regular basis
  • Dark Data – data value has not been identified. It may include vital business critical data, useless ROT data or most importantly illegal or non-compliant data, leaving an unseen liability at the heart of corporate IT systems.

The study found a typical UK organisation reports Dark Data rates of 59% (EMEA avg. 54%), ROT levels of 29% (EMEA avg. 32%), leaving just 12% (EMEA avg. 14%), of identifiable Business Critical Data. This equates to wasted corporate resources in EMEA of up to estimated £576bn[1] on just storing ROT data if companies don’t change their strategy and culture around information management.

As organisations move more data into the cloud to cope with the escalating data volumes, study insights revealed cloud storage and processing will increase by a third (from 33% to 45%) across EMEA over the next twelve months. However, with only 43% of respondents in the UK stating they will utilise cloud storage facilities by 2016, the country is behind the European average. There is a higher risk that organisations adopting these cloud services might not have appropriate policies to calculate the follow-up costs, switch to another provider or to retreat from the cloud in case of emergency.

What causes the Databerg?
The survey identified three major causes for Databerg growth. These relate to how data volumes disproportionately affect IT strategy, how vendor hype is driving the widespread adoption of currently ‘free’ storage and how employees are endangering corporate data through their own actions and becoming data hoarders:

  1. IT strategies based on data volumes not business value
  2. An increased reliance in ‘free’ storage such as in the cloud
  3. A growing disregard for corporate data policies by employees

According to the survey, all these factors are the major causes of Dark Data and ROT, as it moves corporate resources away from the direct line of sight of management teams. It can also, thanks to impending legislation, present legal issues and business risks, which are not obvious at the time of purchase or usage.

Recommendations from the report
The following steps can be taken by organisations to gain valuable insights into their information and in turn reduce the associated risks:

  • Identify Dark Data, expose risk and recognise valuable information
  • Eliminate ROT promptly to reduce wasted costs
  • Define a workable information governance strategy for unstructured data with C-level endorsement to encourage compliant user behaviour
  • Increase business agility by utilising cloud storage environments

The Databerg Report 2015
The Veritas Databerg Report 2015 was conducted by Vanson Bourne from July to September 2015. The results are based on 1,475 respondents in 14 countries. Respondents included senior IT staff focused on strategic planning, operations and tactical functions.

For more information about the Databerg Report 2015, please visit

About Veritas Technologies LLC

Veritas Technologies LLC enables organisations to harness the power of their information, with solutions designed to serve the world’s largest and most complex heterogeneous environments. Veritas works with 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies today, improving data availability and revealing insights to drive competitive advantage.



Michael Piontek
Manager Public Relations at Veritas | +49 (0) 162 2954 810

Felicity Main
Edelman for Veritas | +44 (0) 20 3047 2481

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