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Businesses might not be able to recover lost data and systems

EMC Corporation (EMC) announced results of ‘The Disaster Recovery Survey 2012: Middle East, Turkey and Morocco’, which found that 82% of companies surveyed in the region are not very confident that they can fully recover systems or data in the event of a disaster, and that 64% of all organizations lost data or suffered systems downtime in the last 12 months.

Additionally, 37% of organizations claim they need at least one day or more to become fully operational again, and on average organizations suffered from two days of downtime.

These findings highlight the need for backup transformation from antiquated technologies that are not suited for today’s data growth or availability expectations. A move to next-generation backup and recovery solutions ensures continued business operations in the event of a natural disaster, malicious activity or more routine and common disruptions to IT systems.

Commissioned by EMC and conducted by independent research company Vanson Bourne, ‘The Disaster Recovery Survey 2012: Middle East, Turkey and Morocco’ looks at the maturity of backup and disaster recovery strategies in the region, in order to understand how backup transformation can help companies to prevent data loss and systems downtime from a variety of causes, including ordinary IT failures to more extraordinary incidents.

Survey Findings:

– Disruption happens: downtime and data loss more likely from an IT problem than a natural disaster

The research shows that the main causes of data loss and systems downtime are the failure of internal IT systems and disruptions caused by malicious activity. The three most common causes of data loss and downtime are:

1. Hardware failure: 55%
2. Software failure: 40%
3. Security breach: 36%

This compares to just 13% of respondents citing natural disasters as a cause of systems downtime or data loss. In response to such incidents, improving security is seen as key with 44% of businesses having improved physical security and 43% digital security, this despite the fact that security breaches were the third most common cause of data loss and downtime. Meanwhile, 37% of respondents stated that they have reviewed and changed procedures for IT systems backup and disaster recovery following an incident.

Furthermore, 29% of organizations increased their spending in backup and recovery after a disruption. This is against a backdrop where 34% of organizations surveyed did not feel they were spending enough on backup and recovery. On average, the research found that businesses across the region are spending on average 7.48% of their IT budgets on backup and recovery.

– Economic impacts: Lost revenue attributed to systems downtime

The study identified that there are measureable business impacts from systems downtime, with the top three cited as:

1. Loss of employee productivity: 43%
2. Loss of customer confidence/loyalty: 37%
3. Loss of revenue: 28%

Systems failure resulted in, on average, nearly two lost working days for each of the businesses in the survey. Based on an average eight hour working day, this is the equivalent of 32,000 man-hours lost for a company employing approximately 2,000 employees. Additionally, each organization lost an average of 133GB of data during a 12 month period. Given that 1MB of data is approximately the equivalent of 25 email documents in size, losing 133GB of data would be the equivalent of losing 3.325 million emails.

The research has also highlighted that businesses are not protecting valuable customer data, with only 23% having a disaster recovery plan in place for CRM applications. Only 22% of organizations who have a disaster recovery plan stated that they would need CRM applications to be up and running immediately following a downtime scenario, despite the fact that customer confidence was ranked as the second most important impact of downtime.

Businesses in the Middle East, Turkey and Morocco are also failing to take advantage of insurance premium benefits that a comprehensive disaster recovery plan can engender. 44% of companies across the region are obliged by either insurance policies or regulatory requirements to have a disaster recovery plan in place. More importantly, however, 25% of the organizations surveyed, are offered reduced premiums by their insurance provider according to the strength of their IT systems backup/disaster recovery strategy. However, 57% of the organizations surveyed did not know if their insurance provider offered such reduced premiums – or they had never considered it at all – highlighting a missed opportunity for many businesses.

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