IT infrastructure and services company NTT has announced the findings of its sustainability study, revealing a limited awareness amongst organisations of the impact data storage has on carbon emissions.
Supported by NetApp, the storage and data management experts, the study found that businesses acknowledge that up to 60% of their data goes unused. The removal of this data waste and its unnecessary storage is having an impact on energy consumption and broader sustainability goals.
Despite organisations having an unequivocal understanding that sustainability is important to their future success, 67% of them remain oblivious to the environmental consequences of their data strategies. Over half (58%) see the IT department as crucial in driving sustainability initiatives, yet IT operators dont always view the removal of unnecessary and unwanted data from data estates as a top working priority. Instead, more focus is being placed on purchasing and installing energy efficient equipment.
A data estate is difficult to reduce in data capacity, with one-third of enterprises reporting feeling overwhelmed and almost two thirds seeing rising data quantities as a problem they must deal with. Many IT professionals are holding off conducting data waste disposal due to the magnitude of the task, the risk of deleting something useful, and the effort require to gain organisational agreement.
When asked what is holding them back from furthering their sustainability agenda, half of respondents stated that one of their main challenges is having to work with suppliers that do not share their vision and goals. This is exacerbated by a lack of understanding around how various technologies impact sustainability and limited awareness of the impact that data storage has on carbon emissions.
"Understanding the true impact of technology on sustainability is a key focus area for enterprises, but one that is highly complex and convoluted," says Miriam Murphy, CEO Europe, NTT Ltd.
"There is clearly still a lot of work to be done, with only 38% of those surveyed having successfully implemented a comprehensive business-wide strategy. This is where partners can step up and offer everything from consulting, technology audits, and strategy, to roadmap designs, implementation, and governance services," she says.
"While organisations are gradually becoming aware of the amount of wasted data they store, whats particularly worrying is that so many havent found an effective way to proactively tackle this," adds Matt Watts, Chief Technology Evangelist at NetApp.
"The research highlights how much more work is required, even in an era where efficiencies and sustainability targets are at the forefront of business," he says.
"At NetApp we believe that smarter data storage is essential to reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions."