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Data is Currency of New Economy, but Most Fail to unlock its Full Value; HGST Survey finds 86% of Data Center Decision-Makers Surveyed Believe that all Data has Value

Survey of CIOs and IT Decision Makers Highlights Storage and Data Management as a Critical Factor to Operational Success; Points to Software and Active Archive as Growth Opportunities


In a survey commissioned by enterprise storage leader HGST, a Western Digital Company (NASDAQ: WDC), 86% of CIOs and IT decision makers surveyed believe that all data generated has value if the organization is able to store, access and analyze it optimally. However, less than half (48%) of those surveyed admit they are not storing all available data, keeping them from unlocking its full value. The results also show a growing trend toward adoption of analytic tools and storage, and highlights Active Archive and Cloud as burgeoning market opportunities.

Key survey findings:

  • 86% believe all data has value if it can be stored, accessed and analyzed, but 48% are not storing all available data
  • 78% say better analytic tools and storage solutions would improve business efficiency
  • 22% admit they don’t have the right mix of structured, unstructured and semi-structured data storage to analyze their data
  • 56% are planning, or already implementing Active Archive solutions
  • 61% are planning or engaged in a total cost of ownership (TCO) related project, the highest level for any initiative tested

Increasing Demand for Data Drives IT Spending

There is a gap between the amount of data being produced and the ability for companies to store that data. While 78% of those surveyed contend that access to better analytic tools and storage solutions would improve business efficiency, 25% admit their organization does not have the right mix of structured, unstructured and semi-structured data storage to optimally analyze what data they do have. It is not surprising, then, that respondents cited storage as the primary driver of IT investment, especially in China (77%), France (67%), Germany (66%), and the U.S. and Korea (tied at 62%).

Data security and governance were cited as the largest concern when it comes to data for respondents (35%), and those polled pointed to long-term storage (93%) and data protection (96%) as drivers of innovation and investment to address these issues. 

“Data has become the currency of the new economy and the ability to extract value from data is the ultimate competitive edge,” said Mike Cordano, president of HGST, A Western Digital Company. “Smart organizations are harnessing the power of data to gain understanding, drive predictions and offer new insights. The challenges of storing, retaining, accessing and transforming this massive volume of data has put storage at the heart of the data center.”

Active Archive Greenfield

As the volume, velocity, variety and longevity of data grows, survey respondents are working hard to extract extra business value from stored data. Active Archive, a sub-segment of the Cold Storage category, is emerging to address the changing dynamics as data archiving is no longer limited to offline storage with the mindset of “write once” and likely “read never.”

The findings uncovered that 56% of those surveyed say their companies are planning, or already implementing Active Archive solutions to address longer-term storage needs, with adoption the highest in China (83%). When analyzed by the size of the enterprise, four of every 10 (40%) of the largest companies (5000+ employees) have Active Archive projects in progress while mid-sized enterprises are the largest segment beginning to plan (65%).

Need for Performance and Efficiency Driving Solid State Drive (SSD) and Software Adoption

Among those currently involved in a data center project, performance (41%) and cost/operational efficiency (25%) were selected as the most important considerations for their business, and investments in SSDs and total cost of ownership (TCO) initiatives are thriving. Today, a majority of IT decision makers surveyed (63%) are investing in SSDs to accelerate or extend the life of hardware investments, especially in China (84%), Germany (75%) and France (72%). At the same time, 61% of respondents are planning or engaged in a TCO-related project, the highest level of activity for any initiative tested.

The survey found that application acceleration software is commonly used to increase performance at larger firms (63%), but still not used widely in small and mid-sized companies (49%). Among all respondents, scalability (89%) and application acceleration (86%) were citied among the top four drivers of innovation in data storage.

Cloud Storage to Quadruple

Data accessibility is also a growing concern, and cloud storage was identified as the top discipline for active investment.  Public cloud storage growth is expected to quadruple in the next year. Today, only 7% of the respondents keep more than 50% of their data in the cloud, however, 30% expect to keep at least 50% of their data in the cloud a year from now.

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About the survey

The online survey, commissioned by HGST and hosted on the Springboard Network, surveyed 710 senior information technology decision makers in China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the United States (U.S.). The survey was fielded from July 25th to August 12, 2014.

About HGST

HGST is a wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC). HGST sets the pace for storage innovation in this evolving industry to help the world harness the power of data. HGST builds on its reputation for producing reliable HDDs and SSDs, and developing tighter integration with software to optimize storage efficiency and reliability in businesses around the world. Founded by the creators of hard drives, HGST serves a broad range of market segments, including enterprise, cloud, OEM, mobile, consumer electronics and personal storage. HGST was established in 2003 and maintains its U.S. headquarters in San Jose, California. For more information, please visit

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to future trends in data generation, storage, and analysis, and the impact these trends could have on the demand for storage products. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, including changes in markets, demand, global economic conditions and other risks and uncertainties listed in Western Digital’s recent SEC filings, to which your attention is directed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak on as of the date hereof, and HGST/WD undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.


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