New research has uncovered that the majority (67%) of organizations are unaware of the impact that storing data has on the environment.
A study by NTT and NetApp of more than 300 top-level workers, each belonging to companies with more than 5,000 employees, found that the common approach has been to treat the symptom rather than to tackle the underlying cause, leading many businesses to struggle with their environmental targets.
With many workers feeling overwhelmed in the face of this growing challenge, changing our approach to data management is key to success.
Unused data is a financial and environmental drain
Many of us are familiar with the terms “reduce, reuse, and recycle” when it comes to consumable items, but in reality, few delve deep enough into the first two terms to make any real impact, with recycling taking center stage.
The same is true of the data industry, whereby companies have become increasingly focused on using the most efficient storage methods available. Even so, data centers remain under constant scrutiny for their heavy use of resources like energy and water.
NTT’s study found that up to 60% of a company’s data goes unused, meaning that the possibility of more than halving their environmental impact is not being explored.
The firm’s CEO for Europe, Miriam Murphy, calls for better “consulting, technology audits… strategy… roadmap designs, implementation, and governance services” as a holistic approach to tackling the unresolved issue of unused data.
NetApp Chief Technology Evangelist Matt Watts added: “The research highlights how much more work is required, even in an era where efficiencies and sustainability targets are at the forefront of business.”
Moving forward, it’s clear that the moral of the story is that, while improving the efficiency of what we do use is vital, reducing what we need to use in the first place is irreplaceable in the fight against climate change.
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