Companies Finally Get the Disaster Recovery Message

By Michael
March 5, 2012

By just about any measure, 2011 was a historically challenging year for corporate IT professionals. Natural disasters, lost devices, breached databases and careless employees made it abundantly clear that just about anything that can go wrong must be regarded as if it will go wrong. Although we’re only a few weeks into the new year, there have been some encouraging reports to suggest businesses are finally addressing outstanding loopholes and getting their disaster recovery plans in order.

A look back. Almost any time we heard of a new disaster preparedness survey in 2011, the reports were met with shaking heads from experts and a flurry of excuses from companies. Symantec’s finding that only half of global organizations polled reported having a disaster recovery plan is place shined the spotlight on a growing problem. This was not a matter of one technology over another, but a fundamental lack of either interest or diligence in putting pen to paper and establishing elementary protocols.

Among small and medium-sized business in particular, it often took worst-case scenarios to drive the message home. Half of SMBs formed their plans in response to a systems failure or data loss, and fewer than one in three of those organizations had actually tested their recovery strategies.

Compare and contrast. With a new year – and a new budget – offering a clean slate, a number of businesses have chosen to allocate additional resources toward disaster recovery plans in 2012. Some have been inspired by industry chatter, others have been motivated by events experienced internally or by close collaborators. In any case, SMBs worldwide are feeling more confident in their data backup and disaster recovery plans than ever before, according to a joint study from Acronis and the Ponemon Institute.

Much of this optimism is due to the wider variety of solutions available on the market, analysts noted. But survey respondents indicated that at least some of their optimism was coming from a more substantial source: their own diligent systems testing.

The road ahead. Media management strategies cannot live in a vacuum, quite the opposite actually when it comes to disaster recovery protocol. New employees, new technology, and new threats require constant vigilance from IT teams. As more companies outsource portions of their data storage workload, it will also be essential to ensure that same high standard translates to business partners. According to the latest research from the Ponemon Institute, third-party data recovery operations continue to be a primary source of some of the most costly corporate data breaches.

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