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2020 Data Governance Trends Report

New Risks, New Rewards of Remote Work

  • 75 percent of C-suite IT execs have implemented at least three new data governance protocols since the pandemic began
  • 71 percent say employees aren’t doing enough to safeguard sensitive data.

Mountain View, CA. – September 17, 2020

Today Egnyte, whose intelligent platform enables businesses to manage and govern content everywhere, published its inaugural Data Governance Trends Report, based on findings from a survey of 400 IT executives in August 2020.

The Data Governance Trends Report highlights the 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.)

“The demands on data governance leaders have been intensifying for the past several years,” said Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain. “There is more and more content straddling on-prem and multi-cloud environments. Business users are clamoring for consumer-like, self-service models of accessing files anytime, anywhere. Meanwhile, companies must adapt to a new slate of GDPR-style privacy regulations, and in parallel, there’s an explosion of new opportunities to interpret and analyze these huge unstructured datasets.”

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, 29 percent of employees are accessing corporate files through unsecured WiFi networks and on personal devices with no password requirements. On average, they report that 47 percent of 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 and 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.

To read the full Data Governance Trends Report, visit For additional insights from the Egnyte team, register for the State of Data Governance on October 27.


The Data Governance Trends Report was commissioned by Egnyte and conducted by an independent firm, Wakefield Research ( The study was fielded between July 31 and Aug. 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.


Egnyte combines the power of cloud content management, data security, and AI into one intelligent content platform. More than 22,000 customers trust Egnyte to improve employee productivity, automate business processes, and safeguard critical data, in addition to offering specialized content intelligence and automation solutions across industries, including architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC), life sciences, and financial services. For more information, visit

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