Data Loss And Downtime Costs The UK £10.5 Billion Per Year

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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78 percent of UK organisations are not confident that they can fully recover after a disruption

Data loss and downtime cost enterprises $1.7 trillion around the globe in the past year – the equivalent of nearly 50 percent of Germany’s GDP.

In the UK, £10.5 billion was squandered. Data loss is up by 400 percent since 2012 while, surprisingly, 78 percent of UK organisations are still not fully confident in their ability to recover after a disruption.

These were just some of the findings of the EMC Global Data Protection Index, conducted by Vanson Bourne, which surveyed 3,300 IT decision makers from mid-size to enterprise-class businesses across 24 countries.

Disruptions

On a more positive note, the number of data loss incidents is decreasing overall. However, the volume of data lost during an incident is growing exponentially. 67 percent of enterprises surveyed experienced data loss or downtime in the last 12 months (60 percent suffered downtime in the UK and 23 percent suffered data loss in the UK). Other commercial consequences of disruptions were loss of revenue (34 percent in the UK) and loss of customer confidence/loyalty (29 percent in the UK).

laptop on fireBusiness trends, such as mobile, big data and hybrid cloud create new challenges for data protection. 87 percent of UK businesses lack a disaster recovery plan for hybrid cloud applications, 80 percent for mobile devices and 76 percent for data lakes. In fact, 54 percent rated mobile devices as ‘difficult to protect’ (33 percent said big data and 27 percent said hybrid cloud). With 24 percent of all primary data located in some form of cloud storage, this could result in substantial loss.

Adopting advanced data protection technologies dramatically decreases the likelihood of disruption. And, many companies turn to multiple IT vendors to solve their data protection challenges. However, a siloed approach to deploying these can increase risks. Globally, enterprises that have not deployed a continuous availability strategy were twice as likely to suffer data loss as those that had. Businesses using three or more vendors to supply data protection solutions lost three times as much data as those who unified their data protection strategy around a single vendor. Those enterprises with three vendors were also likely to spend an average of $3 million more on their data protection infrastructure compared to those with just one. 75 percent of UK companies with three or more vendors have experienced unplanned systems downtime within the last 12 months.

EMC Data Protection Index survey participants were awarded points based on their responses, ranking their data protection maturity in one of four categories. The vast majority, 87 percent, of UK businesses rank in the bottom two categories for data protection maturity. In the UK 13 percent rank ahead of the curve, with 11% classed as ‘adopters’ and 2 percent considered ‘leaders’. China has the greatest number of companies ahead of the curve (30 percent) and the UAE the least (0 percent).

Guy Churchward, president, EMC Core Technologies, said: “This research highlights the enormous monetary impact of unplanned downtime and data loss to businesses everywhere. With 62 percent of IT decision-makers interviewed feeling challenged to protect hybrid cloud, big data and mobile, it’s understandable that almost all of them lack the confidence that data protection will be able to meet future business challenges. We hope the global data protection index will prompt IT leaders to pause and re-evaluate whether their current data protection solutions are in alignment with today’s business requirements as well as their long term goals.”

Antony Walker, deputy CEO, techUK, said: “This important research by EMC backs up what we see across the industry. As businesses become ever more data driven they have to be ever more vigilant on data protection and data security. Ensuring strong data protection and data security is a cost of doing business in a data driven world.”

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