Iland has published a new report, ‘The State of IT Disaster Recovery Amongst UK Businesses’, that reveals real-world failover rates as well as overconfidence and other underlying issues that prevent companies from optimally ensuring business continuity.
The study, conducted in June 2016 by independent market research company Opinion Matters, surveyed 250 UK decision makers on their IT DR plans to understand how organizations are approaching and leveraging disaster recovery.
The findings definitively reinforce the need for solid disaster recovery, as 87 percent of respondents were forced to trigger a failover in the past 12 months. While over half (58 percent) are using on-premise solutions for disaster recovery, well over one third (38 percent) use a cloud-based solution, with both larger and smaller businesses adopting DRaaS at similar rates.
Highlights from the study include:
- Outages happen more frequently than many believe: 95 percent of respondents faced an IT issue that resulted in an outage or data loss over the past 12 months. Problems ranged from a system failure (53 percent) through to human error (52 percent), corrupted data (37 percent), cyber-attack (32 percent) and unexplained downtime (30 percent). Notably, only 20 percent of the respondents indicated IT issues stemmed from an environmental threat such as flood, storms, fire and power outages.
- Problems arise despite confidence in failover plans: 87 percent triggered a failover in the past 12 months, reinforcing the need for IT resilience. However, while 82 percent of respondents that executed a failover were confident it would be successful, more than half faced issues during the process. This is concerning since 69 percent reported mere minutes of downtime can have a highly disruptive or catastrophic impact to business.
- Testing and training are key, but currently insufficient: Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents claimed to have a trained team and test disaster recovery plans either quarterly or twice a year. However, given the prevalence of failover issues reported, this training and testing appears to be lacking. The remaining 37 percent either have a lightly trained or untrained team while disaster recovery testing is infrequent or non-existent. This significant number highlights the need for more awareness on the importance of disaster recovery testing, and calls for DRaaS vendors to enable easy, non-intrusive testing that can be performed regularly and on demand. Vendor support throughout these efforts is also important.
- There is a gap in understanding of DRaaS reliability, security and compliance: A higher percentage of on-premise respondents are optimising for zero downtime (74 percent) while DRaaS adopters claim to accept minimal downtime in the name of budget (43 percent). This indicates that many IT leaders are not aware of the availability levels and recovery times of cloud-based disaster recovery, as it is possible to get the on-premise levels of uptime with DRaaS without the big budget spend. Similarly, when asked what prevented them from moving to DRaaS, nearly two-thirds of on-premise users cited concerns about maintaining security and compliance. While emphasis on security and compliance is critical, advanced DRaaS offerings deliver the same or superior levels of security as on-premise environments.