Public Sector Outperforming Private in Data Management Although Challenges Remain

The public sector is ahead of other industries when it comes to data efficiency and usability, according to a study by Veritas Technologies.

Whilst 30% of the data stored by public sector organizations has a known value, just 15% falls into this category in general industry. In addition, public sector data considered redundant, obsolete and trivial (ROT) is half that of private sector companies.

However, substantial data challenges remain in the public sector, which has the same rate of dark data stored as industry counterparts (50%). This means significant public money is being spent on backing up data with unknown value.

Worryingly, in the survey of 100 public sector IT leaders, more than a quarter (27%) said they never tag data, mainly due to the belief that it is a laborious and expensive process.

Andy Warren, UK&I director, public sector, at Veritas Technologies, commented: “The average survey respondent was spending as much as £696,460 a year on data storage, half of which is dark. Tagging data, as basic as it sounds, is the first step in getting control of it, and can very effectively form the foundation to a program that reduces cost and increases efficiency.”

An apparent reluctance to store data in the cloud could also be preventing efforts to improve data efficiency, with just 17% of public sector information currently held on this platform.

Nevertheless, there is growing awareness of the need to improve data management across the sector; the study found that a high proportion of public sector IT leaders consider increasing internal data visibility (68%) and improved data sharing between teams (59%) to be priorities.

Warren added: “The challenge is real, and so much progress has already been made in the public sector in spite of cost limitations and large swathes of extremely sensitive data. However, provable cost savings can still be realized by consolidating infrastructure, understanding the data estate and deleting what isn’t needed. The technology is now available to reduce costs, improve efficiency and aid compliance.”

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