Two-fifths of firms still rely on tape to backup data – survey

5 Dec 2011

EMC Ireland country manager Jason Ward

Two-fifths of companies in Europe are increasing the risk of security breaches and data loss by still relying on tape to backup their data, a survey by EMC suggests.

The EMC European Disaster Recovery Survey 2011, which covered 1,750 companies across Europe, found that businesses are spending, on average, 10pc of their information technology (IT) budgets on backup and recovery.

But 40pc of companies still rely on tape when storing a copy of a backup off-site for disaster recovery, with an average annual cost of €74,000 spent on transporting, storing, testing and replacing tapes.

Where tape is used for disaster recovery purposes, 10pc still have an employee take home a copy of the backup tapes with them.

The survey found that, overall, most (80pc) of organisations using tape want to move beyond it, with speed of restoration, faster backups and lack of durability cited among the main reasons.

Jason Ward, EMC Ireland’s country manager, said businesses, including those in Ireland, risk losing time and money unless they backup their data electronically.

“Business preparedness for routine IT disruption or more significant incidences of advanced cyber crime starts with a next-generation backup approach, not a reliance on traditional back-up tapes which employees in some Irish public and private-sector organisations still take home at night.

“Businesses and public-sector organisations can dramatically cut costs and become leaner by getting rid of tape which is cumbersome and vulnerable to security breaches.

“By moving to a disk-based solution, staff in an office can be released for other duties and third-party tape management costs eliminated,” said Ward.

Big data on the way

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), organisations globally will need to deal with 44 times more information each year over the next decade than they are managing today.

“The explosion in the volume of this information – known in the IT world as big data – has consequences for how it is to be captured, stored, managed and analysed,” Ward said.

“Organisations need to proactively review their strategies for backup and recovery to ensure that they can meet basic business requirements and deal with sophisticated new threats from the cyber world as the volume of information explodes.”

The EMC-sponsored survey, carried out by researchers Vanson Bourne in private and public sector organisations in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux and Russia, found that 54pc had either lost data or suffered systems downtime or both in the past year.