According to research conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by leading networked storage distributor, Zycko, the risk of losing data or experiencing business downtime is driving 100% of financial services companies to review their data storage requirements. Other factors considered significant or very significant in their review included increased data volumes listed by 83% of respondents, and archiving and compliance which were cited by 74% and 71% respectively. The survey was conducted in April 2005 amongst 200 IT directors in leading financial services companies.
The research provides a detailed overview of the data storage challenges currently faced by large UK financial services organisations and highlights some of the key drivers in reviewing their storage requirements, the barriers to adopting new solutions and the key factors determining their next storage purchase.
The survey results revealed that despite the host of concerns about disaster recovery and mounting data volumes, IT directors were still reluctant to adopt new solutions to address their concerns. The main barriers to adoption included the need for professional support for the new solutions, which was cited by 55% of respondents, the complexity of the storage solutions on the market (40%), lack of in-house expertise (37%), and the need for independent advice (33%). These factors are causing IT directors to delay their procurement cycles, while data volumes continue to rise.
David Galton-Fenzi, Group Sales Director at Zycko, comments, In the financial services sector, ensuring data protection and compliance is critical. Forty-two percent of respondents stated that they would delay their storage procurement because of concerns such as lack of support or lack of understanding of the storage solutions available which rings alarm bells. IT directors who delay their storage decisions are placing their business at huge risk from non-compliance, but also from the inability to recover data in light of an unforeseen event. Companies are clearly not putting in place adequate disaster recovery measures despite this being a top concern listed by 100% of respondents. If a company is unable to recover its data after business downtime is experienced, the impact could be devastating and result in huge financial losses. IT directors in this market sector need to act now to ensure they are protected. If not, they are placing their businesses firmly on the front line.
When questioned about the factors that would influence their next storage requirement, 83% of respondents said it would be to meet immediate business needs. Three quarters wanted to increase IT efficiency and only 59% said that it would be because it was part of a strategic plan.
Galton-Fenzi comments, The fact that immediate business needs, rather than long term strategic requirements are driving future storage purchases in the financial sector is hugely worrying. Quick fix solutions delay the inevitable and procuring storage on a piece-by-piece basis will also lead to far greater costs down the line. If 100% of companies really believe that disaster recovery is a top priority, then data storage needs to be at the top of boardroom agenda. Long term strategies need to be put in place. Companies need to think about how to get the most out of their existing IT architecture and look at open system solutions that will scale to immediate and future storage requirements. They also need to work with independent experts who understand their challenges and have experience of their market sector. Only then will data storage cease to be a headache for IT directors.