Two-thirds of businesses in the UAE believe they lose an hour per day or more because their corporate data is not properly organised.
According to a survey from Veritas, 68% of companies say they lose one hour or more of productivity because data is hard to locate, resulting in a 17% decline in efficiency.
The global study, conducted by Vanson Bourne, surveyed 1,500 IT decision makers and data managers across 15 countries, including 100 senior professionals from the UAE.
The results were in line with a global average of two hours lost per day searching for data, resulting in a 16% drop in workforce efficiency.
Only 27% of respondents in the UAE said that their organisation's data is completely integrated, similar to the global average of 29%. Businesses in Germany reported the highest level of organisation-wide data integration at 46% followed by the US at 44% and Brazil at 36%.
UAE respondents said that over $2.1 million is lost due to challenges in day-to-day data management annually, similar to the global average.
Conversely, organizations that invest in effective day-to-day management of their data have reported cost savings and better employee productivity as a result. On average, seven in ten (70%) say they have reduced costs, while over two-thirds (69%) say their employees are now empowered to be more productive.
"The exponential growth of data can create significant opportunities for organizations that use it intelligently. Unfortunately, most organizations waste precious resources searching for useful, and potentially business-critical, data in disjointed IT ecosystems," said Jyothi Swaroop, vice president, Product & Solutions, Veritas. "Companies that invest in looking after their most important digital asset - their data - will achieve heightened employee efficiency and productivity, therefore gaining a valuable competitive advantage, as reported by UAE businesses surveyed for the study."
Beyond productivity challenges, the wider consequences of poor data management can cripple organizations. Almost all (97%) of the global organizations surveyed believe they have missed valuable opportunities as a result of ineffective data management. In fact, over a third (35%) admit to losing out on new revenue opportunities while two in five (39%) say their data challenges have caused an increase in operating costs.
Alarmingly, respondents estimate that their organization loses over $2 million a year due to challenges faced with managing their data.
Companies that fail to address their data management issues also risk significant longer term damage to their business. Those surveyed say their challenges with managing data mean their ability to make strategic decisions is hindered (38%), they're less agile (35%) and unable to compete successfully in the market (29%). Over a quarter (27%) are more vulnerable to data security threats, and 25 percent have experienced customer dissatisfaction.
"Many organisations continue to face daily uncertainty over where their data is located and whether it is even protected. Unless addressed, the result will be compromised agility, exposure to security threats, plummeting productivity and lethargic decision making at even the highest of levels," added Swaroop. "In order to flourish in today's digital economy, especially with the focus of the UAE on digital transformation, businesses must implement solutions that empower employees with complete visibility and control of their entire data estate. Only then will they be able to identify and action areas of risk and opportunity, unlocking the true value of their data."