UK businesses unprepared for changing EU landscape

A third of UK data is stored outside of the UK, and moving it back to the country may cost an average of ?1.6 million for each organisation.

VMware has published research showing more than a third (34%) of UK businesses’ data is currently located outside of the country, while three quarters(76%) have at least some business critical data residing overseas. With so much data stored offshore, almost seven in 10 businesses (69%)are concerned they may need to move their data in line with any regulatory, compliance or customer requirements.
The research of 250 UK IT decision makers, conducted in September 2015 by Vanson Bourne and sponsored by VMware, shows 95% of respondents use some form of cloud services to host their data (including 37% using public cloud and 34% using hybrid cloud). Over two thirds (70%) are concerned they would need to move their data to a different cloud provider who could host their data in the appropriate location if the European landscape changes.
Despite the potential upheaval, half (50%) said they are yet to start making contingency plans while only 10%arefully prepared to move their data to UK soil, if necessary. 96% of organisations also admitted it would cost them a significant amount to move their data to a different location if needs be, with the average cost being estimated at over ?1.6 million[1],with an average timeline of three months.
Richard Munro, Chief Technologist and Technical Director for vCloud® Air™, EMEA at VMware commented: “Many organisations have rightly turned to the cloud for its flexibility, scalability and security. Knowing that their data is definitely residing in the UK means that a need for change is far less likely, no matter what economical changes happen across Europe. However, only a third (37%) of organisations could say with complete confidence where all their data is stored, so it will be difficult for them to assess whether it is compliant in any eventuality. The best approach is to be prepared for change well ahead of the new directive. This includes clear visibility into where data is stored when using a cloud provider, and having the ability to move it from one location to another if necessary within a short timescale.”
Roy Illsley, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions at analyst house Ovum commented: “The challenges surrounding the location and protection of data are not new. Organisations should ask their provider where their data is stored, and whether facilities exist to store data in the UK if needed, but also - how their data should be categorised to ensure it is stored in the right location. Vendors who enable third-parties to build local cloud services within a region will become critical support to these customers.”
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