7 September 2023

New NTT survey finds that unnecessary data storage is hindering sustainability goals for majority of businesses


Unnecessary data storage hindering sustainability goals, as organisations admit that up to 60% of their data goes unused

  • IT operators are failing to view the removal of unnecessary and unwanted data as a top priority, with more focus on purchasing energy efficient equipment.
  • Majority of businesses don’t directly tie data storage to sustainability goals, despite 80% having policies and incentives in place to do so.
  • Cloud has predominantly impacted organisational sustainability goals by improving operational efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions by 40-60%.

London, UK – 7th September 2023NTT Ltd., a leading IT infrastructure and services company, has today announced the findings of its sustainability study, revealing a limited awareness amongst organisations of the impact data storage has on carbon emissions.

Supported by NetApp, the storage and data management experts, the study found that businesses acknowledge that up to 60% of their data goes unused. The removal of this data waste and its unnecessary storage is having an impact on energy consumption and broader sustainability goals.

Despite organisations having an unequivocal understanding that sustainability is important to their future success, 67% of them remain oblivious to the environmental consequences of their data strategies. Over half (58%) see the IT department as crucial in driving sustainability initiatives, yet IT operators don’t always view the removal of unnecessary and unwanted data from data estates as a top working priority. Instead, more focus is being placed on purchasing and installing energy efficient equipment.

A data estate is difficult to reduce in data capacity, with one-third of enterprises reporting feeling overwhelmed and almost two thirds seeing rising data quantities as a problem they must deal with. Many IT professionals are holding off conducting data waste disposal due to the magnitude of the task, the risk of deleting something useful, and the effort require to gain organizational agreement.

When asked what is holding them back from furthering their sustainability agenda, half of respondents stated that one of their main challenges is having to work with suppliers that do not share their vision and goals. This is exacerbated by a lack of understanding around how various technologies impact sustainability and limited awareness of the impact that data storage has on carbon emissions.

“Understanding the true impact of technology on sustainability is a key focus area for enterprises, but one that is highly complex and convoluted,” said Miriam Murphy, CEO Europe, NTT Ltd. “There is clearly still a lot of work to be done, with only 38% of those surveyed having successfully implemented a comprehensive business-wide strategy. This is where partners can step up and offer everything from consulting, technology audits, and strategy, to roadmap designs, implementation, and governance services.”

“While organisations are gradually becoming aware of the amount of wasted data they store, what’s particularly worrying is that so many haven’t found an effective way to proactively tackle this,” commented Matt Watts, Chief Technology Evangelist at NetApp. “The research highlights how much more work is required, even in an era where efficiencies and sustainability targets are at the forefront of business. At NetApp we believe that smarter data storage is essential to reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.”

To read more from NTT’s sustainability study, see here


Get more insights:

NTT Sustainability Ambition

NTT FY 2022 Sustainability Progress Report

NetApp Sustainability — Green Data Company

NetApp: It’s time for an honest conversation about data and sustainability (Blog)



Omdia on behalf of NTT Ltd., developed, programmed, and fielded a custom, online survey that explored the sustainability considerations for data storage and management, and sustainability and IT strategies. Total survey responses were 312 at C-suite level executive, VP/Director/Head of, Senior Manager. Organisations were in Germany, Netherlands, and United Kingdom and all had over 5,000 employees. Participants spanned BFSI, manufacturing, public sector, healthcare/pharmaceutical, retail/CPG and telecoms and media sectors.




About NTT Ltd.

As part of NTT DATA, a USD 30 billion IT services provider, NTT Ltd. is a leading IT infrastructure and services company serving 65% of the Fortune Global 500 and more than 75% of the Fortune Global 100. We lay the foundation for organizations’ edge-to-cloud networking ecosystem, simplify the complexity of their workloads across multicloud environments, and innovate at the edge of their IT environments where networks, cloud and applications converge. We offer tailored infrastructure and ensure consistent best practices in design and operations across all of our secure, scalable and customizable data centers. On the journey towards a software-defined future, we support organizations with our platform-delivered infrastructure services. We enable a connected future. Visit us at services.global.ntt

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