U.S. companies are markedly more willing than their UK counterparts to seek out and embrace new techniques for managing archived data over the long term, possibly reflecting a greater awareness in the U.S. of compliance and retention issues, according to new statistics from the second annual BridgeHead Software Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) Audit.

Striking national differences are apparent in responses to the value of maintaining long-term archived data. Sixty-two percent of U.S. respondents' rate preserving archived data for the long-term on multiple media types such as disk, tape and optical technologies as important or very important, while only 41 percent of UK respondents feel the same way. UK apathy also registers at the other end of the scale, where 20 percent of UK respondents answer "don't know" (only 6 percent in the U.S.) and 16 percent answer "unimportant" (11 percent in the U.S.).

And, when asked about the prospect of being able to keep multiple copies of long-term archived data in multiple locations, U.S. respondents are, again, significantly more open than their UK counterparts: 69 percent of U.S. respondents say this would be "important" or "very important" compared to just 51 percent of UK respondents.

Responses from both countries provide a near-identical pattern of data retention requirements: 9 percent of respondents identify that some of their archive data will need to be retained for in excess of 30 years, with a total of a third of UK respondents and 37 percent in the U.S. saying in excess of ten years. Twenty-seven percent of UK respondents and 31 percent of U.S. respondents, say the longest that any data in their organization needs to be retained is four years or less.

When asked how valuable it would be to be able to search all archived data based on content, 61 percent of U.S. respondents say "important" or "very important," compared to only 51 percent in the UK. In both countries, more than one-fifth didn't know if it was important or not.

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