Fall 2020

Data Governance

Predictions, pitfalls, and technologies for the future of digital work

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The inaugural Data Governance Trends Report is based on survey results from 400 CIOs and IT leaders across industries, highlighting challenges associated with the data type most greatly affected by remote working scenarios: unstructured data. (Unstructured data includes all the information stored in files like Excel, Word and PowerPoint documents, as well as images, video and more.) Key findings show how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced CIOs to reimagine data governance plans in the context of remote-first (and remote-only) working conditions. It reveals new and emerging security threats associated with the work-from-everywhere paradigm, and digs into the strategies companies have adopted (and plan to adopt) to keep up.

While companies face a diverse set of challenges, several major trends emerged:


Remote work is driving more data sprawl than ever before

Seventy-six percent of IT executives are concerned about unstructured data sprawl, and more than half say remote work is the main culprit.


Remote is risky

Away from the office, nearly a third of employees are accessing corporate files through unsecured WiFi networks and on personal devices with no password requirements. This is a big problem because a large portion of these files contain sensitive information.


Employees aren’t doing enough to protect sensitive information

Just 29 percent of C-suite IT executives give their employees an “A” grade for following policies procedures to keep files and documents secure.


Nobody loves their content management architecture

Ninety-seven percent of CIOs say that content management is rife with problems, citing as examples files sitting on unsecured devices, data loss, and mismanaged permissions.


The digital future is automated

To take the load off workers, more than half of companies plan to invest in AI and machine learning to automate content management and data security.

Content Sprawl

Not only is data growing, it is spreading to more applications, more users, and more devices than ever. As the CIOs in this survey reported, sprawl is creating inefficiencies, driving up costs and contributing to new and greater data security risks.

Percent of CIOs and It execs concerned about Content Sprawl and Data Security Risks

Main Drivers of Data Sprawl

Increase in Remote Work is the main driver of Data Sprawl

Remote Risks

As content growth proliferates out of control, the sensitive data it contains becomes increasingly vulnerable to leaks, breaches and compliance fines.

Nearly half of C-suite IT execs (40 percent) say increased risk of data breaches is their top concern when it comes to content sprawl.

Top Concerns About Content Sprawl

Increased risks of Data Breach and Leaks from Content Sprawl

The risks of compromised data are not theoretical. On average, 47 percent of corporate files contain sensitive data such as personal identifying information, credit card numbers and even Social Security numbers.

47% of Company Files contain Sensitive Data

With employees at home, there’s increasing concern that their connection could be lacking security.

Increasing concern that internet connection could be lacking security

Diversity in Data Risk

Content sprawl and remote work are opening up new threat vectors, but no single concern dominates:

Content Sprawl and Remote Work are opening up new Threat Vectors

Employee Report Card

Just 29% of C-suite IT executives give their employees an “A” grade for following procedure to keep files and documents secure. That means that 71% think their employees could do better to protect sensitive data.

71% IT executives think their employees could do better to protect sensitive data

As companies adapt to increase remote work, many still struggle with personal device management that can introduce risk.

37% employees are accessing company files with personal devices

CIO Wish List

In response to increased work from home, 75 percent of C-suite IT execs have implemented at least three new protocols in hopes of keeping their data safe. More than half (55 percent) have implemented four or more.

Governance Measures CIOs Have Invested In Vs. Want to Invest In

Data Governance Measures CIOs have Invested Vs Want to Invest In

The AI Future

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are hot topics that could present a host of opportunities for IT departments to improve their operations in the future—and content management is no exception.

Nearly a quarter of C-suite IT executives (23 percent) see file management and organization as one of the best applications for AI and machine learning.

Even more (24 percent) believe AI or machine learning would be best applied for identifying and protecting sensitive data in files.

The AI Future

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The Data Governance Trends Report was commissioned by Egnyte and conducted by an independent firm, Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com). The study was fielded between July 31 and August 12, 2020 using an email invitation and an online survey. Respondents comprised 400 U.S. C-Levels with Technology/IT titles at companies of 100 or more employees.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.9 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.