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UK, Australia and US: Laggards

Tuesday 18th January 2011
Industrial sector participant from accountants TR down right to left. Courtesy: Acronis

Virtualisation and the Cloud pose major backup and recovery challenges to businesses around the world an Acronis survey warns. Its Global Disaster Recovery Index ranking shows UK, Australia and the US lagging behind in confidence levels for backup and disaster recovery, as a third of their businesses fail to have offsite backup or disaster recovery strategies in place.

The Acronis  survey  of over 3,000 small and medium sized businesses (SMB) conducted by the Ponemon Institute  reveals that while attitudes towards backup and recovery differ widely around the world, businesses everywhere want a single backup and recovery solution for physical, virtual and cloud environments.

“It’s not surprising that IT managers across the world differ so much with regards to their attitudes towards backup and DR”, says David Blackman, GM of Northern Europe, Acronis.

“However, it is clear that what SMBs are looking for, regardless of location, is one reliable, easy-to-use solution which spans physical, virtual and cloud platforms.

By launching this Index, we hope businesses will benefit from comparing their backup practices against national and global benchmarks.”

Blackman, (hometown Sydney, degree in IT and software) specialises in marketing and sales, and does see the potential increase in Cloud Computing in 2011 as definitely growing his market.

"Virtualisation and cloud are hot spots for the small to medium sized market in 2011. Virtualisation will increase by 50% and cloud adoption by 87%. "

Quoting the Disaster Recovery research, he adds that "Businesses are experiencing unprecedented data growth - the digital universe growing to 1.8 zettabytes in 2011 (a thousand exabytes or a billion terabytes) and with no global standard or benchmark for data recovery!!"

"Data is critical," he adds. "The greatest challenge for the majority (67%) of UK IT managers is moving data across these three environments. The average UK business currently uses at least two to three separate backup solutions, with a third (35%) using four or more, to manage their different environments, further complicating disaster recovery (DR)."
 
The survey also highlights that many UK IT managers are failing to back up their virtual environments as often as their physical counterparts.

Despite an expected 25% increase in the deployment of virtual production servers in 2011, over two thirds of UK (71%) organisations claim they either do not back up, or do not know, if they back up their virtual servers as often as their physical servers.

In addition, globally over half (56%) of companies surveyed worldwide are using different solutions for both their physical and virtual backups.

 
Acronis Global Disaster Recovery Index

To create the Index, each country was ranked based on its average responses from 11 questions about their confidence in backup and DR readiness, capabilities and practices. Topics covered were technology, resources, procedures and executive buy-in. Key findings include:
 
Very confident: Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland
This group of countries has the best boardroom buy-in, controls, documented policies and procedures for their backup and DR operations. As a result they have the highest confidence that they can recover quickly in event of system downtime, 50% more confident than the average.

Confident: Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan
This group has the best qualified staff in place to execute backup and DR operations in the wake of a serious incident. Surprisingly they are the most likely to use separate backup solutions for physical, virtual and cloud environments (67%, 66% and 70% of organisations respectively).
 
Middle ground: Norway and Sweden
Swedish and Norwegian businesses spend a lot more of their overall IT budget on backup and DR than any other country surveyed (16% and 17% respectively). However, they are the least likely to embrace cloud computing, citing a lack of trust as the key reason. While most countries will average an 87% increase in cloud-based IT over the next 12 months, the Swedish and Norwegian use of the cloud will grow little more than 20% during the same period.

The Laggards: UK, Australia and the United States Businesses in the UK, Australia and the US all scored poorly on their confidence in their ability to avoid downtime in the event of a serious incident (27%/44%/38%). Approximately a third of business in the UK (36% 36% 32% do not have offsite backup and DR strategy in place. When it comes to successfully recovering from a serious incident the Australians were the least confident. Just 22% of Australian businesses felt that they would be able to recover quickly in the event of downtime, compared to a global average of 50%.
 
Room to Grow: France and Italy
These countries are the most likely to admit that they do not have an offsite backup and DR strategy (41%/45%) and the least likely to be able to recover quickly from downtime. They spend the lowest percentage of overall IT budget of all countries surveyed, 5% and 4% respectively. Server virtualisation adoption rates are also among the lowest. However, French and Italian businesses expect to see use of cloud grow by 23% and 350% respectively over the next 12 months.

"The survey will be conducted again next year," says Blackman, who is anticipating a better result from several sectors. And he is hopful it may expand to include Brazil, Russia, India and China in the GDRI's scope.
 
The survey was conducted by the Ponemon Group across 13 countries in October 2010. Over 3,000 IT practitioners were surveyed in small- to mid-market organisations with no more than 1,000 seats. Countries included: Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Singapore, Sweden, Norway, UK, USA, Italy and France. Details of how the index was calculated and where each country appears can be found here.

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