95% of companies suffered an outage in the last year, this is one of the surprising facts discovered by iLand in a recent DR survey. They questioned 250 firms of 500 employees or more to understand what the state of the DR in the UK is.
The results are interesting and shows some key trends that should enable all companies to tighten up their DR policies.
This headline figure that most organisations suffered an outage in the past 12 months must be a wake-up call to most organisations to get their DR policy in order. Those that had experienced outages were then asked the cause, the top 2 causes were system failure and human error. The prevalence of ransomware and other cyber-attacks were seen in the survey coming in as the fourth most common cause of outages. I have covered in detail considerations regarding ransomware and backups previously.
Of those questioned 87% had initiated some kind of failover in the past 12 months. But offset against this was the fact that the majority of these had encountered issues during the process. This seems likely linked to another stat which showed that only 63% of respondents have a trained team that tests DR either quarterly or twice a year
Respondents were also asked about the amount of money the company was investing in DR. 57% believed the amount spent was correct, 26% said it was too little while 17% believed that actually too much was being spent.
So what practical use we can make of these figures to allow organisations to learn from them and ensure that they are ready for a DR situation.
The take home appears to be the need to failover in the next 12 months in some form or another is extremely likely, however most organisations are not able to do this with 100% confidence. Given the increasing need for organisations to be continually available and the potential financial and reputational losses of downtime this has to be a concern for most companies.
Planning and testing of DR have to be the number one and two priorities that come out of this survey. Any backup should be tested on a regular basis, and when the intention that backup is used for DR the need becomes even greater.
As a final comment I think it’s worth noting that in my opinion the figures were overly optimistic. It’s very difficult for any organisation to admit that they have failings and they will only be recognised if a company has undertaken the correct testing or been forced to invoke DR.
All IT departments have a limited budget the majority of that gets spent on end user computing where the focus from the business lies. However a business today without its data is no longer a business. Organisations need to consider the appropriate spend on planning and testing to ensure that they are DR ready.
The survey results are summarised in this infographic.