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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Bart Copeland, Andreas Grabner, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White

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Study Finds Improved Copy Data Management Could Save Federal Government $16.5 Billion Wasted On Redundant Data

MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT, today announced the results of its new report, “Consolidation Aggravation: Tip of the Data Management Iceberg.” The study, underwritten by Actifio, reveals that by 2024, agencies will spend as much as $16.5 billion storing redundant copies of non-production data – working directly against the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative. While Federal agencies have prioritized consolidation and transitioned to more efficient and agile cloud-based systems, 72 percent of Federal IT managers said their agency has maintained or increased their number of data centers since FDCCI launched in 2010. Only 6 percent gave their agency an “A” for consolidation efforts against FDCCI’s 2015 deadline.

According to the report, key barriers to consolidation – including overall resistance, data management challenges, and data growth – are preventing data center optimization and actually driving copy data growth, resulting in increased storage costs.

Federal IT managers noted that managing data growth and consolidating data centers are top priorities for next year – obvious synergies exist. The study found that agencies don’t necessarily have too many servers or too much space – they have too many systems creating redundant copies of data for multiple purposes. On average, more than one in four agencies utilize 50 to 88 percent of agency data storage to store copy or non-primary data – and storing these copies is costly. In fact, 27 percent of the average agency’s storage budget went toward non-primary data in 2013, and this year, agencies expect that number to grow to 31 percent. In hard dollars, that translates to a $2.7 billion cost in 2014, a $3.1 billion cost in 2015, and as much as $16.5 billion over the next ten years.

A growing number of applications and multiple data owners are propelling growth in the number of data copies – and one in three agencies admit that they do not vary the number of copies based on an original copy’s significance or the likelihood that it will be used again. In fact, 40 percent of Federal data assets exist four or more times.

Ironically, when asked for the top pain points associated with copy management, respondents listed regulatory requirements, culture challenges, and storage shortfalls – all ahead of data growth.

“We’ve seen the dramatic impact of a more holistic approach to copy data management in the private sector for years now,” said Ash Ashutosh, Founder and CEO of Actifio. “Frankly I’m not surprised by the magnitude of the potential savings at the Federal level, or that this has now come to light as a significant barrier to FDCCI. Copy data virtualization is today where server virtualization was 10 years ago. We’re thrilled it’s now been identified as a strategy that can dramatically accelerate the process of data center consolidation, and get FDCCI back on track.”

The majority of survey respondents said that better management of copy data will help make their agency’s consolidation efforts under FDCCI successful, though just 9 percent of agencies have implemented projects to better manage storage and data growth today. As agencies work toward the FDCCI deadline, and ultimately, a transition to the cloud, they must shift the discussion of FDCCI from server virtualization to enhanced data management and virtualization.

“With the public flogging that is healthcare.gov, agencies’ IT departments have a siege mentality,” said Steve O’Keeffe, founder of MeriTalk. “Leaders like Terry Halverson, the new CIO for the Department of Defense, are showing real leadership – going at the root causes for today’s Federal IT malaise. Data and application sprawl are the enemies of government IT efficiency. We need leadership to empower Federal IT innovators to change the failing equation. We need a cultural and acquisition shift to enable new models and the shared services that will unlock new efficiencies and real savings.”

“Consolidation Aggravation” is based on an online survey of 150 Federal IT managers in May 2014. The report has a margin of error of +/- 7.97 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. To download the full study, please visit www.meritalk.com/copydata.

About MeriTalk

The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT. Focusing on government’s hot-button issues, MeriTalk hosts Big Data Exchange, Cloud Computing Exchange, Cyber Security Exchange, and Data Center Exchange – platforms dedicated to supporting public-private dialogue and collaboration. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 85,000 government community contacts. For more information, visit www.meritalk.com or follow us on Twitter, @meritalk. MeriTalk is a 300Brand organization.

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