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Use of Disaster Recovery Services

Use of Disaster Recovery Services
July 20, 2017 / Scott Kinka

Parts 1 and 2 of this blog series introduced a recently conducted Evolve IP survey on disaster recovery services which polled of 500+ C-level executives and IT professionals. After looking at the overall topic and exploring organizations’ preparedness, we took a look at disaster recovery hygiene; specifically, how well IT teams are getting their objectives met.

Compared to our survey in 2014, a growing number of organizations are adopting hosted disaster recovery services to maintain business continuity. Of those surveyed, 22.5 percent are now using a public cloud, an increase of 9.5 points and 9 percent of respondents are now using DRaaS, an increase of 55 percent. On the other hand, just 35 percent are now using backup tapes, a decrease of about 10 points.

The survey also revealed some areas of hygiene that showed little movement. For example, 42.5 percent of respondents are using additional servers and devices at their primary site. Also, only 16.5 percent of organizations are using a MSP for disaster recovery services; as noted earlier, this offering typically makes companies feel more secure in light of unexpected events. This MSP percentage is a slight uptick from 15 percent in 2014. Finally, one third of companies are using a site that is within 50 miles of their primary data center. This close proximity opens up risk during widespread natural disasters such as flooding, snow /ice, high winds, and more.

What Does an Outage Really Mean for a Business?

Our survey also produced eye-opening data around the number of DR events suffered by organizations. Just over four in ten respondents who had suffered a DR outage indicated they actually had to deal with multiple disasters. The leading cause of outages continues to be hardware failure and server room issues, which was reported by 48 percent of respondents. Deliberate, malicious attacks were noted as the cause of outages by 13 percent of respondents, a 200 percent increase from our 2014 survey.

This increasing threat from ransomware and other external issues is driving the adoption of disaster recovery services. Primarily, this is because firms are looking for more reliable and comprehensive ways to protect against losses. What losses? According to the survey, while most businesses believed they were able to fully recover from a disaster, 56 percent of those surveyed who dealt with a major incident experienced a financial loss and one in 10 organizations experienced permanent data, application or system losses. More than 12 percent suffered a loss of $100,000 or more. In addition, 31.5 percent of companies revealed that recovery took up valuable staff time that impacted their business. Finally, as a result of their experiences, 11.5 percent of respondents who suffered an outage increased their budget for disaster recovery services.

Stating the obvious, the longer a company is down, the greater the productivity loss, and the higher the likelihood of losing profits. It is here that compliance initiatives really showed their value. Just 42 percent of those with compliance requirements took more than one business day to recover from a major incident while 64 percent of organizations without compliance requirements took more than one business day. Based on those results, as you might expect, DR compliance was noted by those surveyed to drive confidence in the ability to recover IT and related assets in the event of an incident.

In Part 4, the last in the series, we’ll explain what the survey revealed about disaster recovery plans and the value of having a solid and well tested plan if you want to ensure a rapid and full recovery.

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