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Europeans still serves huggers says report

Nearly half keep their data in the same building. Article by Nick BoothA new study of European IT teams suggests that the ‘server hugging’ mentality remains a major blockage to the datacenter industry’s growth.

Server hugger mentality is a term first coined by analyst Forrester to describe data retentiveness, a mental condition where IT managers only feel safe if they can touch the equipment holding their data.

The study, commissioned by storage vendor Iron Mountain, found that 46% of IT teams insist on keeping data on hardware they can see, touch and control.
According to the report this is particularly likely to happen if the data is confidential, sensitive, business-critical, frequently used, subject to strict regulation, newly created or of potential business value.

Only 37% of respondents to the survey have made cloud computing an element of their hybrid on and off site storage strategy, but a further 8% plan to introduce cloud in the next 12 to 24 months.
Some sectors are especially cautious about their data, according to the report, which identified healthcare, manufacturing and financial services as industries where data paranoia among IT managers is a widespread.

Small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are particularly prone to this condition, according to the report.

One IT boss at a UK healthcare firm of fewer than 250 employees told researchers: “We are not allowed to store data anywhere else.”

An SME UK retailer told researchers that its data was kept on on site as: “it’s too sensitive and business-critical to put at risk.”

Mainland Europe is no different, according to the study. Server huggers identified included a Netherlands financial services firm with less than 100 employees which kept data on site because “we cannot afford any kind of data breach.”
One French services firm (with more than 1,000 employees) said it stores data on site to avoid the cost of data retrieval.

Iron Mountain’s head of information risk Christian Toon said: “the IT professionals we spoke to believe that getting storage right is an art rather than an exact science. Most still feel most at ease when they can see and touch their data storage racks.”

“Evolving security risks and the need to harness the full value of information makes this untenable in the long term,” Toon said.

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