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Storing data in off-site and co-location facilities is a risk according to 80% of IT professionals

Jul 24, 2019 2:22:36 PM

Survey of over 100 senior UK IT professionals reveals an opportunity to increase transparency and confidence in the data centre industry through clearer standards.

  • - 80% of professionals surveyed said they feel they are taking on high or medium risk by storing data in off-site premises / co-location facilities.
  • - 80% of respondents say they require data centre accreditations, with 88% of those surveyed saying they are going to become even more important in the next two years
  • - However, 77% say the current data centre accreditation landscape is confusing
  • - 78% of respondents say there needs to be a regulated standard for data centre design and operations, with 72% believing that without this there will be problems for the growth of the industry – especially around IoT and Edge
  • - Seven in 10 IT professionals think that the average hacker could outwit the average IT director currently

A new survey has revealed that 80% of senior IT professionals from across the UK feel they are exposed to high or medium risk by storing data in off-site premises and co-location facilities.

Clients’ confidence in the data centre industry and the security, resilience and availability of their infrastructure is being damaged by a lack of clarity around industry standards, according to the results.

The research, completed by global critical environment and data centre specialists Keysource and trade association techUK, polled 100 IT decision makers on the data centre sector. It found that the industry should consider creating a single regulated standard to give clients clarity on issues like security and resilience.

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Eight in 10 respondents (80%) currently require data centre accreditations for internal and external reporting yet over three quarters (77%) of respondents felt the current landscape was confusing. A call for a single regulated standard for data centre design and operation was made by 78% of the IT professionals.

The survey also highlighted that 88% of respondents think that accreditations and standards will become even more important over the next two years.

According to the Uptime Institute nearly one-third of all data centres had an outage in the past year, up from 25% the year before. The top three causes of downtime were power outages (at 33%), network failures (at 30%), and IT or software errors (at 28%). A total of 80% of data centre managers said their most recent outage was preventable.

Keysource says the number of high-profile data centre infrastructure failures in the past five years has led to increased scrutiny on the industry by IT professionals. The data shows that 71% of IT directors are also concerned about the pressure they face against cyber-attacks and security breaches. Meanwhile seven in 10 respondents (70%) said that the average hacker could outwit the average IT director currently.

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Jon Healy, managing director at Keysource, said: “Data centres are essential assets for businesses’ survival and growth and the sector is continuing to experience a significant period of growth. While it is driven by advances in technology and the need to support increasing user demand, as well as an exponential explosion in data, there’s no doubt that it is creating real challenges in governing and managing risk.

“When you consider that IT downtime costs $5,600 per minute on average and can be as high as $540,000 per hour, according to Gartner, it’s little wonder that this is so high on end-users list of concerns.

“This research has proven that the inconsistency in design, management and maintenance is cultivating these concerns and confusion around the different standards isn’t helping. There are clearly some important issues that the industry and clients need to address together – namely those related to security and resilience – and by making it easier to navigate the different standards should the starting-point for this.”

Emma Fryer, associate director – data centres at techUK, said: “The data centre sector has an unusually rich standards landscape for such a young industry, and we should be proud of this because it demonstrates the sector’s commitment to customer service, to professionalism and to self-policing. However, data centre standards can appear bafflingly complex.

“While many believe that data centre standards would benefit from rationalisation, our current priority is harmonisation and groups like the CGGDC (Coordination Group for Green Data Centres established by all European Standards Organisations) work to eradicate conflicting requirements. We also need improved clarity, explanation and interpretation so that those procuring data centre services can identify those standards that most closely match the performance they need from their supplier.

“Data centre standards are a work in progress; we are going in the right direction, but are nowhere near the end.”

With over 40 years’ experience, Keysource is one of the world’s leading specialists in critical environments, helping to ensure business continuity for clients across the globe. Their solutions are regularly recognised by leading industry awards, and their in-house teams are often asked to help shape industry best practice and comment on changes within the industry.

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Topics: Data Centre, Industry, Reports

Jon Healy

Written by Jon Healy

With a background in engineering and extensive experience in the data centre and critical environment industry, Jon has led a range of award winning solutions and services for a host of companies from global enterprise to major government organisations.