ID directors could move almost a third of their online data off to archives and save money. Research conducted for BridgeHead Software reveals 60 percent of IT directors estimate they could remove 30 percent or more of the data they retain on primary storage – if they only knew what they wouldn’t need again. With storage volumes growing at a 30 percent annual rate, such a ‘spring-clean’ of primary storage could negate the need for hardware purchases for a year.

Almost half of all respondents agree that more than 30 percent of their primary data store is taken up with unstructured data such as spreadsheets, documents and presentations. Fifteen percent of respondents say that more than half of their primary data store comprises unstructured data.

Tony Cotterill, BridgeHead Software CEO, said: “The prevailing ‘keep everything’ attitude is most likely the result of straightforward data overload combined with a perceived lack of effective tools for archiving files. That may once have been the case, but today’s reality is that there are plenty of tools to do something about it."

Bridgehead claims that most organisations could, with proper file archiving tools, reduce the amount of data on primary storage to the extent no new capacity would need to be purchased for at least a year.

Cotterill said: “The whole process could even be cash neutral or even cash positive in the first year: imagine not having to purchase 30 percent more primary disk capacity in your own organisation and buying the right archiving tools instead. It ought to be an easy decision, with the added benefit that primary storage purchases will be down 30 percent year on year thereafter. Plus the fact an organisation will also be taking steps along the path to better corporate governance and compliance, whether or not it feels the need,” he added.

The survey reveals that only 22 percent of businesses consider compliance or corporate governance to be a primary driver for archiving. The majority don’t have an effective data migration solution. However 28 percent of respondents admit to not archiving at all and, of those that do, less than a fifth use an automated archiving tool.