StorageCraft Global Research: Recovery Planning—Your Best Defense Against Data Loss

StorageCraft Global Research: Recovery Planning—Your Best Defense Against Data Loss

October 15

In our first post about the results of a global research study commissioned by StorageCraft, we talked about Fast Data Growth and What CEOs Need to Know. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at what these same IT decision-makers (ITDMs) had to say about their experiences with data losses, recovery planning, and where they stand in regards to data recovery testing.

IT Is More Complex

One critical problem the study illustrated was that almost half of ITDMs—49 percent—have three to five systems in use to protect their data. That includes on-prem, cloud, and application-native solutions. Having multiple systems adds a layer of complexity because you have to be sure there aren’t any gaps in what these systems protect. Now, imagine how complex things get when you consider that 33 percent of ITDMs say they have from six to more than 20 systems to manage and protect their data.

Prevention Isn’t Easy

Data loss happens. And it just so happens that’s the case for the vast majority of companies. In fact, 86 percent of responding ITDMs have experienced data loss, and 41 percent have had this unpleasant experience in the past year. Based on those numbers, the odds that your company will take a similar hit are high.

We also asked the ITDMs to share the causes behind these numbers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, human error accounts for more than two-thirds of data losses or outages—67 percent. The other causes behind data loss include:

  • Security hacks – 19%
  • Other (mostly hardware failure) – 8%
  • Natural disasters – 6%

Your takeaway should be that while ensuring data security against hacks is important, training and educating your employees should be at the top of your list if you’re going to prevent data disasters.

Downtime Is Expensive

We won’t repeat the oft-quoted costs of downtime to businesses here. You’re probably keenly aware that every minute your business is down costs you plenty. While our study showed that 15 percent of respondents could recover from a severe data loss within an hour, that can still be a very expensive hour.

Those are the lucky ones. Just shy of sixty percent of respondents said they could recover from a severe data loss within a very costly day, and the remainder—26 percent—measured their recovery time in one to seven days. That much downtime may well be a death blow to many of these businesses.

Your takeaway here is that you need to put a solution in place that limits your downtime so you can meet the recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) set in your disaster recovery (DR) plan. StorageCraft has backup and disaster recovery solutions that ensure your data is protected and you can meet these requirements with confidence—regardless of whether your business is large or small.

Make a Plan; Test It Too

Some good news from our study was that 96 percent of respondents have a data recovery plan. As is often the case, the good news is followed by some bad news: nearly a quarter of those responding don’t test their data recovery plan. Maybe things will work out for these companies if disaster strikes, maybe not. Finding out which way things will go after a data loss is not likely to be a pleasant position to be in.

Because companies with more data have much at stake should a data loss occur, they are much more likely to test their recovery plan. Here’s how the numbers break down in relation to the amount of data being managed for those answering yes to the question, “Does your company test your data recovery plan?”

  • 93% – with 1 PB or more of data said yes
  • 84% – 500 TB – 1 PB
  • 79% – 200 – 500 TB
  • 60% – 5 – 200 TB

Having a backup and disaster recovery plan is clearly a requirement in today’s digital world. This is where our study uncovers some more good news. Of the 96 percent of respondents who said they test, most of them test their recovery plan regularly. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 37% – Annually
  • 29% – Quarterly
  • 18% – Monthly
  • 7% – Weekly

Only nine percent of respondents test their plan less than yearly or sporadically. We think that’s too big a risk to take. How frequently you need to test depends on your unique situation. For help with disaster recovery planning, check out our blog post with an IT disaster recovery planning checklist. In our next StorageCraft Global Research results post, we’ll take a look at how ITDM’s view security, backups, and disaster recovery in the cloud.