June 26, 2012, 9:48 AM — Worldwide, organizations hold about 2.2 zettabytes of data and spend about $1.1 trillion to secure and provide access to it, according to Symantec.
Those sky-high numbers about the amount of data and what's spent to hold it were based on the results of a survey of 4,056 information technology professionals at organizations in 38 countries for Symantec's "State of Information" survey. Published today, the survey found on average $38 million is being spent annually by larger enterprises, and $332,000 by small to midsize businesses (SMBs), to store and secure their business data. In all, 30% said they suffer from "information sprawl" as data is held outside the organization as well as inside it.
Sean Regan, senior director of product marketing, at Symantec, notes that SMBs actually slightly more on a per-employee basis annually on information storage, security and management -- $3,670 per employee -- compared with the $3,297 per employee that enterprises spend each year. Economies of scale are often what account for that, he said.
Information is so important to all organizations, according to the survey, the 4,506 IT professionals said they believe it represents 49% of an organization's "total value."
But though business data is of critical worth, the IT professionals acknowledged the struggles they had in managing it.
In the past 12 months, 69% of them said their organizations had lost at least some of it or exposed confidential information. And 31% had "compliance failures," meaning they failed at some point to pass critical audits associated with compliance with data security and privacy regulations.
Another thing the survey found is that 42% of data is "duplicate." If it's duplicate, says Regan, this means they are paying to store copies that they may not really have to store and aren't applying de-duplication strategies as best as they might to hold down storage costs.