A couple of days ago we received an eye-catching press release from Star, 'the leading provider of managed technology services to over 4,000 mid-sized businesses and public sector organisations in the UK.' It was about banning access to C: drives and identified a C: drive syndrome, apparently based on a survey.

Here is how Star's release described it: 'C-drive syndrome is the phenomenon that arises when business-critical information is buried and is inaccessible on individual C-drives – often laptops – leading to poor information sharing amongst colleagues, security risks and difficulties with regulatory compliance. Star conducted research among 300 IT decision-makers in Great Britain and found that over half of businesses were vulnerable to the syndrome.'

Sounded great, really news-worthy. We had a closer look and became more and more dis-enchanted. So we asked some questions of Star and its PR agency about the press release claims and the justification for them:-

Press release: 'C-drive syndrome is the phenomenon that arises when business-critical information is buried and is inaccessible on individual C-drives – often laptops – leading to poor information sharing amongst colleagues, security risks and difficulties with regulatory compliance.'

Question: Could you provide an example of a named company and date when this has happened please?
Answer: No, they could not.

Press release: '... Star warns that allowing free, unregulated and unmanaged access to C-drives to store business information can seriously limit growing businesses’ development prospects.

Question: Could you provide an example of a named company and date when this has happened please?
Answer: No, they couldn't.

And so it went on.

Certainly survey respondent names should be kept confidential But were the respondents asked questions about whether they or others had suffered from C: drive syndrome?

We looked at the survey. In its 53 pages 16 of them dealt with questions and answers about C: drive use. None of them asked if the respondent, for example, knew when a failure to share information due to C-drive syndrome happened and caused events to back up claims in the press release. None of the other claims were backed up by survey questions either.

So the claims based on the survey were unsubstantiated. The conclusions were not justified by the research. Pretty poor stuff.

Do you think company files should not be stored on desktop C: drives and that access to desktop and notebook PC's C: drives for company files should be banned?