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Press Release -- April 26th, 2022
Source: Digital Realty Trust


April 26, 2022

Survey shows how data is becoming the critical agenda topic for all businesses

AUSTIN, TexasApril 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Digital Realty (NYSE:DLR, news, filings) the largest global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data centers, colocation and interconnection solutions, today releases the results of its inaugural Global Data Insights Survey. It offers insights into how data is becoming one of the most critical areas of focus for all businesses – and highlights the key challenges and opportunities for data management, including the need to rethink data strategies, the effects of Data Gravity1 and the importance of harnessing the explosion of enterprise data growth globally.

More than 7,000 C-level executives, business, and technology leaders across 23 countries and nine industries were asked questions designed to facilitate industry dialogue around the business needs of data.

Data is becoming the business agenda

The survey confirms that strategy and value outcomes for enterprises rely on data-driven insights. IT leaders cited data-driven insights as being essential for improving the customer experience (50%), locating data infrastructure (37%), developing new digital products (35%), and driving business growth (28%).

Data systems, infrastructure and analytics tools identified as key areas requiring investment

A key finding of the survey is that major businesses all over the world are not investing adequately into the tools and infrastructure required to handle increasing amounts of data. It reveals that 53% of global respondents cited a lack of sufficient investment in data systems or infrastructure as a key obstacle their organization faces when seeking to draw valuable insights from data. Similarly, 50% cited a lack of sufficient investment in relevant analytics tools. In order to tackle rapid data growth, enterprises need to ensure data isn’t becoming siloed while drawing insights from it in a time-effective and compliant manner, all of which requires investment.

IT leaders need to upskill teams to extract value from data 

The survey also reveals that 65% of IT leaders from some of the world’s biggest businesses say they need to improve the data capabilities of their teams to remain competitive and extract value from data. This was higher than those who cited AI investment (59%) when asked what the most important factor was for their companies in the next two years to enable more data-driven insights. Moreover, 61% of respondents from companies with revenue of $1B+ cited educating executives on the implications of siloed data as a priority.

The Global Data Insights Survey, due to be published annually, is the next step in Digital Realty’s mission to assist enterprise and service provider customers as they shift their strategies to address Data Gravity. It follows on from the findings of the Data Gravity Index DGx™ and the development of Digital Realty’s global data center platform, PlatformDIGITAL®.

Other key findings of the report include:

Data is pervasive. Data creation is multiplying at all points of business presence, contributing to a need to efficiently aggregate information. 47% of IT leaders surveyed say they are keeping data decentralized, while 52% are keeping it centralized – highlighting how strategies differ across industries on how to organize and manage data. This can have a direct impact on a company’s ability to drive value and outcomes with data, confirming the need to prioritize aggregation.

Data requires aggregation and control. Regulations, privacy constraints, reluctant customers, and lack of investment in data systems are impeding the data-driven business agenda, with 35% of IT leaders citing data privacy and regulation as one of the key obstacles to data driven insights. The majority2 also identified the need to maintain local copies of data and applications to serve a growing number of end users and connected devices, and to ensure secure and compliant business operations.

Data is localizing. Over a third of companies surveyed have at least 21 data locations, with this group growing to 97% of companies with revenues of $1B+. This number, which is growing all the time, alongside an increasing number of users and devices, is contributing to the emergence of the critical megatrend emerging – Data Gravity. This phenomenon results in barriers that impede the efficient exchange of data and must be addressed in businesses’ data strategies to drive successful outcomes.

Data first strategies win. Leading companies are seeing the value of integrating data, security, and controls in multi-tenant datacenters – unlocking new intelligent workflows at centers of data exchange between employees, customers, partners, and ecosystems. 82% of IT leaders agree that a global data center provider that is able to offer global coverage, capacity and direct connectivity across major metros on a single data center platform is required. Additionally, 75% of $1B+ companies now have a formal data strategy; compared to 63% of global companies generally, suggesting that larger companies are operating slightly ahead of the curve from a data perspective, which is likely to give them an advantage over smaller competitors.

“Recently, we have witnessed the emergence of a new megatrend occurring on our platform – the explosion of enterprise data growth globally. All industries are becoming information industries via the need to create, consume, analyze, store and exchange ever-growing amounts of data. This drove us to seek to understand the effects of data in a much deeper way,” explains Dave McCrory, VP of Growth and Global Head of Insights and Analytics at Digital Realty, “We are constantly looking to support our enterprise and service provider customers to better extract insights from their data as they shift their strategies to address Data Gravity. This in-depth research further contributes to our thought leadership in this area, building on the existing research we have already shared in our Data Gravity Index DGx™.”

About the research

The Global Data Insights Survey consisted of 13 questions covering data strategy, obstacles, and planning. Digital Realty contracted a third party to conduct research in the field from May 2021 through June 2021.

The survey garnered responses from 7,295 C-level executives & business and technology leaders, representing large multinational enterprises across 23 countries and nine industries, with revenues ranging from $100 million to more than $1 billion.

About Digital Realty

Digital Realty supports the world’s leading enterprises and service providers by delivering the full spectrum of data center, colocation, and interconnection solutions. PlatformDIGITAL®, the company’s global data center platform, provides customers a trusted foundation and proven Pervasive Datacenter Architecture (PDx™) solution methodology for scaling digital business and efficiently managing Data Gravity challenges. Digital Realty’s global data center footprint gives customers access to the connected communities that matter to them with 285+ facilities in 50 metros across 26 countries on six continents. For more information, please visit or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Contacts
Helen Bleasdale
Digital Realty
+1 (737) 267-6822

Investor Relations
Jordan Sadler/Jim Huseby
Digital Realty
+1 (415) 738-6500

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements which are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially, including statements related to PlatformDIGITAL® and the Data Gravity Index DGx™ and projections regarding data gravity, aggregation and exchange, the company’s strategy, expected growth in digital transformation, and customer demand. For a list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports and other filings by the company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Data Gravity is the phenomenon which sees large volumes of data continually attracting more data, making it difficult to move, manipulate or extract value from.


On a scale of 1 to 5, respondents averaged 4.05 when it came to the need for IT locations to maintain local copies of applications, workflow or integration systems ((5) all, (4) most, (3) some, (2) none, (1) don’t know)

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SOURCE Digital Realty

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