Acronis Digital Assets Research Findings: Unveiling Backup & Recovery Practices across Europe

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1 Acronis Digital Assets Research Findings: Unveiling Backup & Recovery Practices across Europe March 2010

2 Contents - Executive Summary: Count the cost of a lost day - Methodology - Research Finding 1: Companies have bad backup habits - Research Finding 2: Backup does not equal recovery! - Research Finding 3: Data loss impacts on your health - Key Recommendations

3 Executive Summary: Count the cost of a lost day If your company s data is not being backed up continuously, one small blip could mean that everything everyone in your organisation did yesterday, the day before, last week... is lost. How would you feel if your company couldn t access its data for a day? A massive two thirds (63%) of organisations would take within a day or more to recover their company s data in the event of system downtime, leading to lost revenue, lost productivity and lost customers. How do we know this? At Acronis we re interested in why, engulfed in a digital world in 2010, many organisations still struggle to protect their systems and data and, more importantly, how quickly and effectively they can recover in the event of downtime. Therefore, we conducted some independent research to reveal the backup and recovery habits of organisations across Europe. The results were surprising. The research reveals that many organisations still practice bad backup and recovery habits. Companies are not backing up regularly enough and they are still backing up manually. While some are doing a good job of backing up their servers they are often neglecting their workstations where, according to industry analysts, up to 60% of corporate information is held. We also found that IT managers still have a false sense of confidence in their flawed backup strategies. They are not backing up correctly, yet they believe that they can recover easily. Finally we examined the very real (and stressful) consequences of data loss. It seems that many IT managers fear data loss, and know its implications, yet they are still neglecting their DR strategies. We believe that backup is easy, and we know that with a few simple steps any organisation can protect their IT infrastructures and data. We also know that while backup is easy recovery is that little bit harder, especially when you re busy trying to run a business. That s why we ve developed some best practice tips to help you out. Methodology Acronis surveyed 600 organisations split equally across the UK, France and Germany. Research house Vanson Bourne was selected to conduct the research. The sample consisted of: Those in the organisation responsible for IT (largely CIOs, IT managers and IT administrators) SMBs and mid-market organisations (250-1,000 employees) The respondents were taken from a broad range of industries and the research was conducted throughout October 2009.

4 Research Finding 1: Companies have bad backup habits When it comes to protecting servers, most organisations are diligent with only a tiny fraction not backing up their servers at all and 87% backing up their servers automatically. However, when it comes to protecting workstations, companies are living more dangerously. Shockingly a quarter of companies still back up their PCs and laptops manually, but perhaps more concerning is that a fifth (19%) do not carry out backups of workstations at all. When you segment the findings by country, it reveals that the Brits have by far the worst backup policies. 38% of British organisations do not protect their workstations at all, in comparison to only 5% in France and 9% in Germany How do you backup your workstations? Organisations are still not implementing regular, automated backups with a tenth of the surveyed European firms only backing up once a week or less. The French again come out shining with 21% of companies backing up at least every hour, that s twice as likely as UK firms (10%). Meanwhile German organisations are surprisingly the most likely to only backup once a week. In summary, businesses have good backup habits for their servers, but poor for their workstations. This is concerning when you consider that up to 60% of corporate data resides on PCs and laptops in organisations, not to mention the inconvenience that reinstalling the operating system and applications on each workstation could cause in the event of a disaster. So if bad backup habits prevail, how confident are companies that they can recover their data in the case of downtime?

5 Research Finding 2: Backup does not equal recovery Despite evidence of bad backup practices, the majority of IT managers have confidence in their ability to cover data. 73% of organisations across Europe are either confident or very confident that they can recover their data in the event of a major disaster (whether it is due to a natural disaster, hard drive failure or computer virus). When you drill down into country specifics, the research reveals that even though British organisations have the worst backup practices, they also have the most confidence that they can recover from a major disaster (86% are confident or very confident). Paradoxically, the French are also the most modest about their ability to recover; even though they have the best practices (63% are confident or very confident). When we turn to the speed that companies estimate they could recover data in, it s clear that a fifth (20%) of organisations would take a week, at best, to recover lost data. In addition, a massive 40% would take up to one day. Just imagine how much a day s downtime could cost an organisation in terms of lost business and lost productivity. How quickly could you recover the data? 20% 2% 10% 28% Within an hour Within a morning Within a day Within a week 40% We would not be able to recover In short, just because an organisation backs up, it does not mean that they will be able to recover, or indeed recover relevant and up-to-date data in a timely fashion. Many organisations are living with a false sense of security!

6 Research Finding 3: Data loss impacts on your health Having unveiled the poor backup habits that exist in many of today s organisations, now we turn to the impact that data loss can have on a company and an individual. Surprisingly, despite the poor backup strategies uncovered, IT managers admit that data loss is a very stressful experience with deep implications. 44% of respondents class trying to recover data as either stressful or very stressful. 21% of respondents say data loss feels like a life threatening situation, equating it to the stress that would be felt if the captain of the flight they were on announced there was going to be an emergency landing. What do you fear most about data loss? 14% 43% That it will lead to lost revenue and customers 21% That it might damage my company s reputation That I will lose my job as a consequence That my company will not meet compliance regulation 22% Almost half (43%) fear that data loss would lead to lost revenue and lost customers, proving that data loss is not just classed as an IT issue, it has much broader business implications. Other factors cited include compliance (a much higher pressure in Germany than in the UK and France 22% versus 9% and 11% respectively); and the implications that data loss may have on the reputation of the company. Additionally, 1/5 respondents (21%) fear that they may lose their job as a consequence of data loss. In today s unstable economic environment there s more reason than ever to ensure your systems are fully protected. Not surprisingly, the majority (59%) of IT managers would feel the most pressure from their CEOs / bosses in the event of data loss. But while 43% fear data loss will lead to lost revenue and customers, only 9% feel pressure from their customers to recover data.

7 Best Practice Guide One thing you can be sure of with computers is that, eventually, they will break down. When you re busy, ensuring that your systems are backed up is often the last thing on your mind. But with budget figures, customer information and confidential data on your systems, your organisation s future is at risk if you don t examine your backup and recovery policy. Most companies are protecting their servers: It s encouraging that the majority of organisations are protecting their severs as they are the lifeline of any IT infrastructure. However, what is critical is that they are completely safeguarded by being backed up regularly. Practice good habits: There s a hub of activity on the laptops and PCs held on your IT systems. While staff are often encouraged to save files to a network, unfortunately this doesn t always work in practice. Many employees save folders loosely on their desktop or make updates to documents when they are out of the office. In fact, according to analyst estimates 60% of an organisation s data is held on workstations, not servers. This means that the majority your data could be seriously at risk. You need to make sure both workstations and servers are protected. Remember backup does not equal recovery: Failure is not too much of a concern if you have a stringent backup and recovery policy, however all too often companies think backup equals recovery. This is not the case. A survey of storage managers by IDC showed that 87% are confident or highly confident that their DR processes would allow them to restore the data for their business critical applications. However, only half of those 87% test their DR strategies more than once a year. You need to ensure that you regularly test your recovery strategy to make sure it works in practice. Examine how comprehensive your strategy is: Relying on an end of day backup strategy can cause problems. If a disaster strikes five minutes before the next backup is due to be made, all the data created that day will be lost. Set automated backups so you can be confident that you backups are up-to-date. In addition, some backup systems can only recover file level data, and can t restore applications or systems settings. Redeployment is therefore labour-intensive and time-consuming, requiring you to find the original software disks and reset preferences manually. Capture your files, applications, settings and your entire operating systems with disk imaging technology. Summary The financial and productivity implications that the loss of data has, coupled with the disruption and downtime caused by failure, is enough to make anyone shiver. Make sure you put backup and recovery at the top of your priorities for To find out more about best practice backup and recovery, watch out for the Acronis SMB Guide to Backup and Recovery. About Acronis Acronis is a leading provider of onsite and offsite backup, disaster recovery and security solutions. Its patented disk imaging and management technology enables corporations and individuals to protect digital assets in physical and virtual environments. With Acronis backup, recovery, server consolidation and virtualization migration software, users protect their digital information, maintain business continuity and reduce downtime. Acronis software is sold in more than 180 countries and available in 13 languages. For additional information, please visit Follow Acronis on Twitter: About Vanson Bourn Vanson Bourne specialises in undertaking user research within a technology context. The company interviews senior decision makers from a variety of functions, across a whole range of industries, in organisations from the smallest to the largest, in markets throughout the Globe. Vanson Bourne s clients range from start-ups to well-known companies that look for expert professionalism that delivers robust, credible research from a powerful yet unassuming brand.

8 For additional information please visit To purchase Acronis products, visit or search online for an authorized reseller. Acronis office details can be found at Copyright Acronis, Inc. All rights reserved. Acronis, Acronis Compute with Confidence and the Acronis logo are trademarks of Acronis, Inc. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Other mentioned names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners and should be regarded as such. Technical changes and differences from the illustrations are reserved; errors are excepted

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