75pc of European firms will never recover lost data

23 Nov 2011

EMC vice-president and managing director of EMC's Irish manufacturing plant Bob Savage

Three-quarters of businesses in Europe will never recover data lost when computers crash. A pan-European survey found that 54pc had either lost data or suffered downtime or both in the past year.

The EMC European Disaster Recovery Survey 2011, found that three out of five of companies surveyed reported hardware failure as the primary cause of data loss and downtime, while 43pc cited loss of employee productivity as the single biggest economic impact.

More than one-quarter, or 28pc, of companies pointed to lost revenue as a result of a disaster while 40pc of organisations still use tape for recovery and 80pc want to replace tape altogether.

The research showed that data loss and downtime were caused by hardware failure in 61pc of cases, power failure in 42pc of cases and software failure in 35pc of cases.

Natural disasters accounted for 7pc of systems downtime or data loss while employee sabotage was to blame in 8pc of cases.

Regardless of the cause, 44pc of organisations changed their back up procedures in response to an incident and 27pc of businesses increased their spending on data recovery.

Firms need to focus on back up and recovery

EMC vice president Bob Savage said the findings show that companies need to focus on back up and disaster recovery to ensure continued business operations when common information technology (IT) failures occur.

“The results of the survey show that businesses need to rethink back up and recovery strategies.

“IT systems failures cost businesses time and money but, with a properly thought-out next-generation back up approach, companies can improve recovery from day-to-day outages, as well as recoveries from something more severe,” Savage said.

The study found that employee productivity dropped in 43pc of companies as a result of systems downtime, while 28pc of businesses cited revenue loss as the main impact of IT failures.

In 27pc of cases, delays in product development accounted resulted from IT systems downtime.

Systems failure resulted, on average, in two lost working days for the businesses in the survey – equivalent to 28,391 working hours for a company employing about 2,000 people.

EMC commissioned the survey by independent researchers Vanson Bourne, who questioned 1,750 IT decision-makers in private and public-sector organisations across the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux and Russia.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years