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Asian biz not confident of disaster recovery

Study shows 81 percent of companies in Asia-Pacific and Japan lack confidence on full recovery of data and systems, while 44 percent still use tape for disaster recovery purposes.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

A whopping 81 percent of organizations in Asia-Pacific, including Japan, are not confident they can achieve a full recovery of their data and systems in the event of a disaster, while 71 percent say they had lost data or experienced systems downtime in 2011, new research has revealed.

These findings, among others in The Disaster Recovery Survey 2012 released Tuesday, emphasized the need for  business transformation--from adopting antiquated technologies that are still in use such as tape, to next-generation backup and disaster recovery (DR) products, according to EMC, which commissioned the study.

Conducted by Vanson Bourne earlier this year, the study surveyed 2,500 IT decision-makers in private and public organizations in 10 countries across the region: Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The shift to next-gen backup and DR tools was all the more important given that IT problems were the more likely cause of disruption as opposed to natural disasters, the study revealed. The top cause for data loss and systems downtime was found to be hardware failure at 60 percent, followed by data corruption at 49 percent, and loss of power at 44 percent. In contrast, natural disasters came in at 20 percent, while employee sabotage was 17 percent.

Furthermore, the study also discovered that 44 percent of organizations surveyed still relied on tape for their backup and disaster recovery efforts, while 37 percent used CD-ROM. However, these outdated methods were in the midst of being replaced, with 62 percent of respondents noting they already were using modern disk-based backup and recovery tools.

This number is expected to increase, according to the study. Some 83 percent of tape-using organizations revealed intentions to replace tape. The top three reasons for doing so were to have faster backup, at 38 percent; faster data recovery and system restores, at 35 percent; and durability, at 28 percent.

The study also looked at the economic impacts from data loss and systems failure, with loss of employee productivity cited as the most likely consequence at 42 percent. Businesses on average experienced two lost working days due to systems downtime which, based on an 8-hour working day, was equivalent to 32,000 man-hours for a company of about 2,000 employees, the study noted.

The other top two economic consequences were revenue loss, at 40 percent, and delay in product or service development, at 39 percent.

While the study noted that 51 percent of businesses increased their spending on backup and recovery after disaster struck, it said the "damage is done" in terms of time and money during a downtime as well as longer-term damage to customer loyalty.

Shane Moore, EMC's Asia-Pacific and Japan director of product marketing for backup and recovery systems, urged companies to practively review their own strategies for backup and recovery as it is important to ensure they are not just protected against systems downtime and data loss, but also able to withstand the damaging effects of lost productivity and revenue.

By establishing a well thought-out and strategic approach to backup and recovery that utilizes the next-generation solutions available today, businesses can withstand the consequences of day-to-day outages and more serious incidents, while reducing the total cost of ownership of their backup systems, Moore noted.

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