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Sunday, 07 December 2014 13:34

More than a billion dollars a week in lost data Featured

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Australian businesses lose over $65 billion a year from data loss and downtime per year, according to major new global study.

Storage vendor EMC has published its annual global Data Protection Index, which includes data specifically on Australia.

It found that more than three quarters (78%) of Australian IT professionals are not fully confident in their ability to recover information following an incident, and that 58% of organisations in Australia still lack a disaster recovery plan for emerging workloads, and just 7% have plans for big data, hybrid cloud and mobile.

Companies in Australia with three or more vendors lost ten times as much data as those with a single-vendor strategy. Australia ranks 11th out of 24 countries surveyed.

Worldwide, ENC says companies worldwide lost 400%more data on average over the last two years - the equivalent of 24 million emailseach year).

The EMC Global Data Protection Index, conducted by research consultancy Vanson Bourne, surveyed 3,300 IT decision makers from mid-size to enterprise-class businesses across 24 countries, including 125 respondents from Australia.

The good news is that the number of data loss incidents is decreasing overall, but the volume of data lost during an incident is growing exponentially. In Australia:

  • 64% of enterprises surveyed experienced data loss or downtime in the last 12 months.
  • The average business experienced more than three working days (27 hours) of unexpected downtime in the last 12 months.
  • Other commercial consequences of disruptions were loss of employee productivity (54%) and loss of revenue (44%).
  • In fact, 60% rated big data, mobile and hybrid cloud as ‘difficult’ to protect.
  • With 31% of all primary data located in some form of cloud storage, this could result in substantial loss.

Survey participants were awarded points based on their responses, ranking their data protection maturity in one of four categories. To create the maturity curve, IT decision-makers were asked specific questions relating to their backup and recovery experience, strategy and infrastructure.

Once scored, these IT decision-makers were divided into four even segments from a low to high score; Laggards (scoring 1–25), Evaluators (scoring 26-50), Adopters (scoring 51-75) and Leaders (scoring 76-100). The vast majority – 86% of businesses in Australia – rank in the bottom two categories for data protection maturity.

Globally, 14% rank ahead of the curve; 11% are classed as ‘Adopters’ and 2% considered ‘Leaders’. Of all the countries surveyed, China has the greatest number of companies ahead of the curve (30%) and the UAE the least (0%).

“Some Australian companies are ahead of the curve when it comes to how they are protecting their data,” said Simon Eid, head of data protection for EMC, Australia and New Zealand. “Worryingly though, the majority of local organisations are lagging behind in deploying modern data protection methods and are not confident that in the event of a data loss incident they would be able to fully recover their information.

“Data loss and downtime has cost local organisations over $65 billion in the last twelve months, which clearly demonstrates that organisations should be seriously concerned about preventing data loss.

“As Australian organisations increasingly embrace mobile, cloud, and big data projects for 2015, the pressures on data protection will only increase.  In fact 60% of Australian businesses feel challenged when it comes to protecting emerging technologies. This study demonstrates that it is imperative for technology leaders to evaluate their current data protection approach and prepare now for the challenges ahead.”

The complete findings are available here.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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