Disaster recovery, security concerns and data protection are top of organizations’ minds

Disaster recovery (DR) continues to be a top concern for organizations, and this is forcing them to enhance their capabilities to meet the stringent requirements of their stakeholders. In the recent 451 Research’s Storage, Disaster Recovery 2023 study, a survey of IT end-user decision-makers in the US and EMEA, the average cost of outages surged to just over $2 million in contrast to $1.6 million in the prior year. The study was fielded from March 2 to April 24, 2023.

The Take

Meeting DR requirements continues to be a major challenge for many organizations. In the recent study, security issues have risen to becoming the top cause of outages, which highlights the need for rapid ransomware recovery capabilities. With the cost of outages rising, we expect to see even more organizations dedicating additional resources toward the data protection challenge.

Cloud-based data protection continues to be preferred over on-premises-only implementations, and in this study, the rise of data archiving to cloud highlights the growing importance of cloud storage. Another key area of innovation is the data protection of SaaS platforms, such as Office 365, Salesforce, ServiceNow and Microsoft Dynamics, and in this space third-party backup tools have become more prominent.

Outages, security issues and data protection

Outages continue to be common and are becoming more costly. Nearly a third of respondents are impacted by a significant outage that resulted in data loss or decreased worker productivity in the last two years, with 18% suffering an outage in the past year. Making matters worse is the cost of outages, which has risen from $1.6 million to $2.2 million in the most recent study.

Security issues have become the top cause of recent outage. Just 29% of respondents claim their most recent outage was caused by a security issue such as ransomware or a virus. Network failures, which were the most common cause of outage a year ago, are now in second place with 26% claiming it was the cause. Cloud or SaaS failures continue to be an issue for customers (22% of respondents) and this highlights the need to implement comprehensive data protection which can function in highly distributed, hybrid multicloud environments.

Cloud archiving and cloud-based data protection are on the rise. The total percentage of data under management that is stored in the cloud has risen to 52% of data compared with 35% a year ago. DR and backup requirements are key drivers that are pushing data to clouds in an accelerated fashion. Hybrid cloud deployments are the most popular choice for data protection (42% of respondents), while organizations that choose to rely on on-premises deployments is still the minority at 34%. Organizations that are solely relying on cloud-based data protection with no on-premises assets is still relatively low at 25% of respondents.

Recovery operations continue to be challenging for most. 34% of respondents claim it took a significant amount of effort to synchronize and restore primary systems, with an additional 36% saying it took moderate effort. DR testing and orchestration could help improve the speed and consistency of recovery operations, though there are still 8% of respondents that admit they never test their DR or do not have a DR plan.

The protection of SaaS data continues to evolve. 35% of respondents are using third-party cloud-to-cloud data protection for their SaaS data, while 36% are relying on their cloud vendor for data protection. 70% of respondents are looking for data protection for Microsoft Office 365, which was the platform with the highest demand followed by Salesforce, which 40% of respondents identified as a platform they would like to protect.

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