Two-Thirds of Australian Businesses Look To Improve Regulatory Compliance

Source Hitachi Data Systems

Longhaus Study With Hitachi Data Systems and Frontline Systems Highlights Opportunities and Challenges for Data Management and Retention


More than half of Australian organisations struggle to keep up with legal changes governing information management. Compliance with government and corporate regulation is a key objective for more than two-thirds (68%) in the next 24 months. These are among the key findings of a Longhaus study into Australia’s information lifecycle governance trends. The study was jointly released today by Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (HDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), and Frontline Systems, a leading provider of end-to-end next generation IT solutions and services.

Customer data was the most commonly cited data type subject to regulatory control with 79% of organisations surveyed stating they were affected. This finding was followed by financial and audit data (78%), marketing campaign data (42%) as well as digital and social media (41%).

Close to a third (29%) stated that reducing legal and compliance risk is a key driver for IT spend in the next 12 months, with one-quarter investing in ways to ensure and maintain data sovereignty, and 24% of the respondents are due to review cloud computing and technology infrastructure ownership to achieve this goal.

“Many businesses find it difficult to navigate the changing regulatory landscape of data management. In order to further improve protection for customer data and privacy, the amendments to the Privacy Act will add to industry specific laws that already govern data retention,” said Adrian De Luca, CTO, Asia Pacific, Hitachi Data Systems. “In this rigorous regulatory environment, compliance strategies need to take into consideration not only questions of where data is housed, but also how it can be effectively managed and retained, even when core enterprise applications reach their end of life.”

While the majority of organisations listed compliance as a top concern for the next 24 months, a quarter of respondents were unsure when they had undertaken the last information inventory audit to establish their current level of regulatory compliance. Moreover, 45% of organisations had inconsistent workflows for privacy and data collection.

Peter Carr, managing director, Longhaus said: “Reducing legal and compliance risk, ensuring data sovereignty and driving better information, insight and capability to act were consistently nominated as key drivers of IT expenditure in 2013 and beyond. Changes to both the overall strategy and information infrastructure platform will be necessary for any organisation seeking to complete information governance processes, while increasing the usability of legacy technical systems, and improve decision making.”

“With compliance taking centre stage in IT strategy, we expect to see more organisations move to object storage types of data archives. This approach allows organisations to audit information inventories, automate data retention policy and management of legacy files, with the ultimate goal to establish consistent and compliant processes for data collection, management and storage,” said Julian Badell, manager, professional services, Frontline Systems Australia.

Note to Editors: Research methodology

Longhaus’ study involved primary data collection from 150 medium-to-large public sector, legal, manufacturing, financial services and insurance organisations across Australia during December 2012 to January 2013. Respondents included senior IT staff, as well as staff members focused on planning and IT management. The study data has a reliability of 95% confidence with +/- 9% margin of error.