Three Quarters of EU Firms Not Ready to Recover from IT Failures

Mike Halsey MVP
Nov 24, 2011
Updated • Nov 30, 2012
Backup, Network

Almost three quarters of companies and public-sector organisations across nine European countries might not recover all of their data if they suffer an IT failure according to a new report released by the IT group EMC.  For the survey a total of 1,750 European companies and organisations were quizzed across the UK,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux and Russia with each organisation ranging in size from 250 to 3000+ employees.

The research's findings are worrying indeed.

  • 74% of organisations are not very confident that they can fully recover after a disaster, according to a new survey of 1,750 European companies
  • 54% surveyed have lost data and/or suffered systems downtime in the last year
  • 61% report hardware failure as the primary cause of data loss and downtime;  natural disasters and employee sabotage being much less likely culprits
  • 43% of organisations cite loss of employee productivity as the single biggest economic impact
  • 28% point to lost revenue as a result of a disaster
  • 40% of organisations still use tape for recovery and 80% of these organisations want to replace tape all together, highlighting the need for next generation backup and recovery

The fact that 74% of companies and organisations feel that they're not prepared or equipped to properly recover data after an outage or disaster might be seen as very worrying for business overall.  We've all suffered data loss but the data losses suffered by business could affect us and them in many different ways.  They could lose customer orders, lose valuable employee details or details of current projects and so on.

They say the most commonly reported causes of downtime are...

  • Hardware failure: 61%
  • Power failure: 42%
  • Data corruption: 35%

One of the problems seems to be that 40% of the companies surveyed are still replying on tape for backup.  With the falling costs of hard disks and the increased bandwidth that dedicated phone lines can bring more and more companies are moving to secure and stable off-site backup solutions and indeed many business ISPs and server hosts now offer this facility as standard.  It is clear though that not enough companies are heeding the warnings of data loss and, more important of good security.

The research found that businesses are spending, on  average, 10% of their IT budgets on backup and recovery, and 29% of businesses  do not feel they are spending enough.   For backup and disaster recovery purposes, 40% of companies still rely  on tape, with an average annual cost of €74,000 on transporting, storing,  testing and replacing tapes. Where tape is used for disaster recovery purposes,  10% still have an employee take home a copy of the backup tapes with them.

The companies surveyed included manufacturing, retail, financial services and telecoms, among others and, frankly, it is disappointing that so many companies still seem unprepared for IT and data failures when computers have now been in business for over 30 years and have been on every desk for the vast majority of that time.


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  1. Paul(us) said on November 24, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    When i remember correctly from periode 1977 till 1984 by far the biggest problem then was data corruption. Hardware and power failure back then where not as big, as right now. When i remember correctly the data corruption was up to 75 %,

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