Giant ‘databerg’ set to cost European businesses billions

A recent report by Veritas Technologies LLC estimates that a giant ‘databerg’ of trivial and obsolete data will cost European businesses £576 billion a year by 2020.

Last month, the global leader in backup and recovery solutions released its Databerg Report 2015, which examined how European organisations manage their data and found that many are spending a fortune on storing Redundant, Obsolete or Trivial (ROT) data.

The report identified major issues such as employees treating corporate IT systems as their own personal infrastructure, and the over-reliance of management on cloud storage systems. These issues are concerning as they will not only be subject to regulatory changes but also produce a higher risk of data loss.

Key Findings

Findings include the fact that 59% of data stored and processed by UK organisations is invisible and could very well contain anything ‘from cat videos to adult material’, producing a high risk of non-compliance. The report also estimated that the average midsized UK organisation holding 1000 Terabytes of information is spending £435,000 a year on useless ROT data. This means that just 12% of the cost of data storage in the UK is actually business-critical – amounting to one of the lowest clean data scores within the study.

Matthew Ellard, Senior Vice President EMEA at Veritas, said: “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.

“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 Phenomenon of the Databerg

The Veritas Databerg Report 2015 delivers insights on how 1,475 respondents across 14 different EMEA countries, including 200 in the UK, are tackling the challenge of transforming data into valuable business information. It was conducted by Vanson Bourne between July and September this year and respondents included senior IT staff focussed on strategic planning, operations and tactical functions.

The report defines the new phenomenon of the ‘Databerg’, which is represented by three major types of data stored by organisations today:

  • Business Critical Data – this is data that is identified as being vital to the ongoing operation and success of the business. It should be proactively protected and managed in real time by professionals with clear responsibility to the organisation’s management team.
  • ROT Data – as mentioned above, this is Redundant, Obsolete or trivial data that should be proactively minimised and safely deleted on a regular basis.
  • Dark Data – this is data where the value has not been identified. It could include business critical or ROT data but could also be illegal or non-compliant data, meaning there is an unseen liability at the heart of the corporate IT system.

The EMEA average for Dark Data possession is 54%, 29% for ROT Data, and 14% for Business Critical Data. A typical UK organisation, however, reports Dark Data rates of 59%, and reports ROT levels of 29%, leaving just 12% for valued Business Critical Data. If strategies for information management are not changed, it is estimated that this will equate to corporate resources of up to £576 billion wasted on just storing useless ROT data.

Veritas’ study revealed three major causes for the growth of the Databerg (Dark Data and ROT), which can, due to impending legislation, present legal issues and business risks to companies. These are:

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


The Databerg Report 2015 recommends that organisations take the following steps in order to gain valuable insights into their information and thereby reduce the associated risks:

  • Identify their Dark Data to expose risk and highlight the valuable information
  • Eliminate ROT promptly to minimise 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

Further Information

For more information, you can view the Veritas Databerg Report 2015 here.

Contact your SCC account manager, call 0121 281 8618 or e-mail [email protected] to find out more about information management solutions from SCC and Veritas.

(Adapted from the original Veritas news release, published 27th October 2015 here:

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