Where's Your Backup Confidence?

q4_2010_survey_results Backup My Info! recently announced the findings of an interesting survey. Apparently, disaster recovery and business continuity are primary reasons for organizations to back up their critical data—and yet the survey also found that only 55 percent of respondents are confident that their data will be restored completely within hours of a disaster.

According to the results of the survey, more than 37 percent of respondents believe the cost of downtime is "thousands of dollars per hour." The survey results also revealed that online data backup (65 percent) is the most popular way that respondents are backing up their information, while internal appliances (34 percent) and tape backups (29 percent) are the next most common ways.

Survey highlights:

  • Disaster recovery and business continuity are key drivers. Disaster recovery (89 percent), business continuity (73 percent), and security (52 percent) were the most common reasons to back up a company's critical data.
  • Cost of downtime varies. Forty-seven percent of respondents agree that the cost of downtime is "hundreds of dollars per hour," while 37 percent say it costs "thousands of dollars per hour."
  • Comparing recovery time for critical data versus non-critical data. Most organizations (40 percent) believe that "within four hours" is an acceptable recovery window (the time it takes for your recovered data to be accessible) for critical data. However, in terms of non-critical data, the majority (42 percent) believe that one business day is an acceptable timeframe.
  • Not every organization checks the status of its backup process on a daily basis. Only 52 percent of respondents check their backup process on a daily basis. Fourteen percent of respondents say they check on a weekly basis, while 9 percent say they never check.
  • Technical service and support is more important than price when selecting a backup vendor. Seventy-nine percent of respondents believe that technical service and support are more important than price (60 percent) when selecting a backup vendor. Data security (72 percent) and speed of recovery (61 percent) also scored high as important decision criteria.
  • Data that is important to back up varies from organization to organization. Database files (83 percent) were the most important information that needs to be backed up, according to respondents. Financial data (79 percent), email (73 percent), and productivity applications (52 percent) also scored high. Video files (19 percent) were the least important data to be backed up, based on the options given.

"Today, almost every business relies on a collection of critical data that is growing every day," said Jennifer Walzer, CEO at Backup My Info! "As the amount of data residing on servers, desktops, and laptops expands, businesses must think about recovery first, and then develop a strategy to ensure that their most critical data is in the best position to be restored. Doing so will protect these assets, keep costs under control, and ensure a fast recovery time."

Following are Backup My Info!'s recommendations:

  • Back up your business-critical data to a secure location, and ensure that the data is properly backed up and stored offsite.
  • Run disaster recovery test drills on a regular basis. Make certain you can recover the necessary data in the event of a disaster to the designated alternate location.
  • Prioritize all your applications/systems to ensure that your recovery plan restores your most critical data first.
  • Document your disaster-recovery plan and make sure it's accessible in case of any disaster.
  • Invest in an online data backup and recovery solution that includes a simple pricing structure, no additional costs for restores or support, and proactive monitoring of all data-backup processes by senior-level engineers.
  • Data backup isn't a "set and forget" operation. It needs to be continuously monitored by experts who know your environment and know how to restore your applications/data properly.

(The survey was conducted during the fourth quarter of 2010 and is based on responses from 117 business owners, CEOs, and IT professionals at small to midsized businesses (SMBs). Industries represented include financial services firms, insurance companies, technology firms, healthcare organizations, and many more.)

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