Compliance barely registers as an issue for the majority of UK IT directors, according to a survey by BridgeHead Software.
Despite the widespread coverage of Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II in vendor literature and the media, respondents said that disaster recovery, business continuity, growing data volumes, the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act are the major drivers in their data strategies. Only six per cent mentioned US-initiated legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley.
Disaster recovery and business continuity were cited by 48 per cent as the key drivers behind the need for archiving.
The second most frequently declared factor was the sheer volume of data growth, at 27 per cent of those surveyed. Corporate governance and compliance were cited as drivers by 22 per cent of respondents.
When asked which aspects of compliance regulation were having an impact on business, 48 per cent did not identify regulatory compliance as a factor at all.
The key regulations affecting business in the UK remain the Data Protection Act (27 per cent) and the Freedom of Information Act (12 per cent). Only six per cent mentioned Sarbanes-Oxley.
Despite acknowledging the importance of archiving for backup and disaster recovery, only 15 per cent of respondents were unable to say how long it would take to retrieve a lost file, and two per cent admitted that they probably would not be able to retrieve it at all.
Some 32 per cent of those who could actually find a lost file would need between an hour and a day to track it down, and six per cent would need more than a day.
Tony Cotterill, chief executive at BridgeHead Software, said: "This is a bit of a wake-up call for the storage industry.
"It seems IT directors know that US compliance regulations affect relatively few of them, and perhaps they realise that compliance is largely achievable as a by-product of good day-to-day data housekeeping.
"If it takes over an hour to retrieve a file, the user will have already started to recreate it or survive without it with all the waste that that entails."
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