Setting The Gold Standard In Disaster Recovery

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David Blackman explains why English-speaking countries are dragging their feet when it comes to data recovery

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The Nordic middle ground

In the middle of the results board, sit the Nordic countries. The study found that Swedish and Norwegian businesses had very similar attitudes to backup and DR. While they generally scored just above average throughout the study, there were several aspects that made them stand out.

Swedish (16 percent) and Norwegian (17 percent) businesses spend a lot more of their overall IT budget on backup and DR than any other country surveyed and almost three times as much as businesses in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

Compared to the rest of the world, however, Swedish and Norwegian businesses are the least likely to embrace cloud computing, and very few make any significant use of the cloud today. While most countries will average an 87 percent increase in cloud-based IT over the next 12 months, Swedish and Norwegian use of the cloud will grow little more than 20 percent during the same period.

The laggards: UK, Australia and the United States

Dragging their feet near the back were the native English speaking countries. Businesses in the UK, Australia and the US all scored poorly on their ability to avoid downtime in the event of a serious incident (27 percent/44 percent/38 percent). Their confidence in recovering quickly (56 percent/36 percent/40 percent) also fell far short of the Index leaders, Germany (77 percent) and the Netherlands (85 percent).

This group lagged behind the leaders when it came to having boardroom buy-in and ample resources and technologies to do the job.  When it comes to successfully recovering from a serious incident the Australians were the least confident.  Just 22 percent of Australian businesses felt that they would be able to recover quickly in the event of downtime, compared to a global average of 50 percent.

Approximately a third of businesses in the UK (36 percent), Australia (36 percent) and the US (32 percent) do not have a backup and offsite DR strategy in place.  These countries were generally the most likely to claim backup and DR was not being made enough of a priority, citing lack of budget and resources as the primary reasons behind this. But this theory plays out only partially.  As a proportion of all IT spend, the UK, Australia and the US spent consistently less on backup and DR (10 percent/11 percent/10 percent) than Germany (13 percent) and the Netherlands (14 percent) but not by a wide mark.

Room to grow: France and Italy

In last place were France and Italy. These two countries put the least priority on backup and DR, highlighted by the fact that 39 percent of French and 53 percent of Italian businesses claimed to spend nothing on backup or DR.  They are the most likely to admit that they do not have an offsite backup and DR strategy (41 percent/45 percent) and the least likely to be able to recover quickly from downtime, at 27 percent and 30 percent respectively, compared to an Index average of 50 percent.  Their spend is the lowest percentage of overall IT budget of all countries surveyed at 5 percent (France) and 4 percent (Italy) respectively.

What the index teaches us

So what can we learn from the Index? In today’s world backup and disaster recovery is still a subject which many SMB organisations still struggle with. It’s not simply about having sufficient resources and technologies that count, businesses need to use them effectively.  Confidence in DR starts at the top, as the Index has shown there is a strong correlation between those with well-managed backup and DR operations and those who have supportive business execs. Companies still need support in implementing easy to use and reliable technology.

When it comes to backing up in a hybrid environment, every region cited moving data between physical, virtual and cloud environments as their greatest challenge (68 percent). On average businesses use two or three different backup and DR applications, which explains why they cite complexity (48 percent) as their second biggest challenge.

Ultimately the success of any company’s backup and DR is based on the availability of its systems regardless of the environment that its data and systems are held in. For most small to medium-size businesses, a service’s success is underpinned by its ability to deliver ease of use, cost effectiveness and flexibility. Both cloud services and virtualisation can do this, so the future is bright. Managed in the right way, from one central, easy to use solution, they can offer businesses the ultimate backup and disaster recovery protection, helping all businesses to achieve the gold medal in terms of backup and DR solutions.

David Blackman is general manager of Northern Europe at Acronis

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