87% of IT leaders in the US cite unstructured data management as their top priority

Unstructured data management

As unstructured data volumes are continuing to grow, IT leaders have realized the need to manage data differently but are struggling to do so. According to a report by Komprise, over 50% of IT leaders manage at least 5 PB of data today. This has grown significantly in just one year. 87% of IT leaders rate managing unstructured data growth as a top priority in 2022. This figure was 70% in 2021.  

IT leaders in the US cite their top challenges as: 

  • moving data to the cloud without disrupting users and applications 
  • costly data storage and backups 
  • hindered visibility into data’s characteristics, and  
  • complying with laws and regulations. 

In 2022, the top priorities for unstructured data management will be: 

  • To move data to big data analytics platforms 
  • Enable self-service so business users can securely leverage data services like cloud, AI/ML and data lakes, and  
  • Optimize data storage infrastructure by increasing investments in the cloud storage.  

In this blog post, we shall discuss the top challenges faced by IT leaders in unstructured data management and their top priorities for 2022. 

Unstructured data management challenges 

Challenges of unstructured data management 

  • In 2021, only less than 40% of enterprises managed 5PB or more of data. However, today, more than 50% of organizations are handling this much data.
  • Nearly 68% of IT leaders state that their organizations are spending more than 30% of the IT budget on data storage, backups, and disaster recovery.
  • Hybrid cloud is the primary storage architecture, with 50% of organizations reporting a mixed storage environment across on-premises and the cloud. The percentage of IT leaders reporting on-premises only environments came down to 11.9% in 2022 from 20% in 2021.

benefits of cloud

  • 42% of IT leaders say that moving data without disrupting users and applications is their biggest challenge. It is important to move data to the best storage platforms for performance and cost. However, sometimes people can’t find their files after they’ve been moved. This can create a lot of frustration for everyone involved.

Unstructured data management priorities 

Top objectives


  • When asked about their goals for improving their unstructured data management strategy, IT leaders say the number one goal was to be flexible. This means that they want to be able to adopt new storage and cloud technologies without spending extra money on licenses or other fees, like egress fees from the cloud. This shows that organizations want more than just cost-cutting, they also want to take advantage of new technologies and switch between them as needed to meet changing business goals and user requirements. 
  • The second highest goal of IT leaders was attaining a systematic data management approach for reducing manual effort and complexity. This demands automated policies for data movement. 
  • IT leaders also prioritized better visibility and analytics for better planning, reducing manual effort and errors for data migrations, and the need to support broader data initiatives and departmental needs better. 

Future strategies 

  • 47% of IT leaders wish to invest in the cloud NAS, followed by cloud object storage (43%). Apart from cost cutting, 43% believe that cloud migrations improve self-service for end users and departments. 
  • Unstructured data and AI/ML are bringing in a new era for enterprise data analytics. 65% of organizations plan to or are already providing unstructured data to their big data analytics platforms. Automating the process of moving data sets to platforms for processing and analysis will speed up time-to-value for big data analytics initiatives. Other new approaches to unstructured data management are shown below. 

new strategies

  • Beyond cost savings, the new use cases enterprises are most interested in for unstructured data management are protecting sensitive data (63%) followed by big data analytics (41%). 
  • 53% of IT leaders rate advanced analytics and reporting as the most important capability of unstructured data management solutions. Other top requirements for unstructured data management software are monitoring and proactive alerting of key events, a data service becoming unresponsive or anomalous activities, as well as data tagging and search. 




Enterprise IT organizations are changing the way they work. Instead of managing storage, they are now managing data. This is because there is so much innovation in the cloud. IT leaders want users to be able to use the cloud for faster collaboration, processing, and AI/ML projects. They also want users to have a good experience and for the business to benefit from this change. To do this, they need to focus on a data-centric approach instead of a storage-centric approach. This way, IT leaders can stop buying and managing storage technology and focus on delivering an efficient unstructured data management practice. 

Image and source credits: The State of Unstructured Data Management Report 2022 

Read next: Gartner reveals how IT leaders can avoid 10 common automation mistakes

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