Mobile Computing, Virtualization Increasing Data Center Complexity: Symantec

Businesses are looking to implement information governance strategies as they deal with increased data center complexity, Symantec found.

Emerging technologies such as cloud computing, virtualization and mobile devices are rapidly increasing the complexity of managing data centers, according to the results of security specialist Symantec's 2012 State of the Data Center Survey, which found 79 percent of respondents are dealing with this issue.

The results suggest organizations should consider taking steps to manage organizational resources to better manage operational costs and control information growth. Forty-four percent of respondents said mobile technology is the leading driver of data center complexity.

Sixty-five percent said the number of business-critical applications is increasing or increasing greatly, while server virtualization (43 percent), and public cloud (41 percent) were cited alongside mobile computing as major complicating factors. Nearly half of the organizations citing rising costs as an effect of complexity, as well as security breaches (35 percent), downtime (35 percent), reduced agility (39 percent) and longer lead times for storage migration (39 percent).

"As today's businesses generate more information and introduce new technologies into the data center, these changes can either act as a sail to catch the wind and accelerate growth, or an anchor holding organizations back," Brian Dye, vice president of Symantec's information intelligence group, said in a prepared statement. "The difference is up to organizations, which can meet the challenges head on by implementing controls such as standardization or establishing an information governance strategy to keep information from becoming a liability."

The results, based on responses from 2,453 IT professionals at organizations in 34 countries, also suggest organizations are keen to implement measures to reduce complexity, including training, standardization, centralization, virtualization, and increased budgets-63 percent said increasing their budget to be somewhat or extremely important to dealing with data center complexity.

The overriding initiative, however, seems to concern information governance strategies that help organizations proactively classify, retain and discover information in order to reduce information risk, reduce the cost of managing information.

The survey found 90 percent of respondents are considering information governance policies or are currently implementing them. Security was the main driver of information governance, cited by 75 percent of survey respondents, followed by the availability of new technologies that make information governance easier (69 percent), increased data center complexity (65 percent) and data growth (65 percent).

Improving security was also the top goal of organizations implementing information governance programs, cited by three-quarters of survey respondents, followed by ease of finding the right information in a timely manner (70 percent), reduced costs of information management (69 percent) and storage (68 percent), reduced legal and compliance risks. Fifty-nine percent of organizations surveyed said moving to the cloud was one of the goals of implementing information governance.