If your company’s IT systems have been running smoothly, consider yourself lucky. According to a report from IDC, more than 90 percent of organizations have experienced some type of tech disruption in the last two years. Seventeen percent of those considered the disruption severe.
Whether the disruption is caused by equipment failure, a natural disaster or malware, the results are the same—lost productivity and expense, both in terms of the cost of recovery and lost revenue. Perhaps more importantly, it can cause severe customer frustration. In fact, 20 percent of respondents whose organizations experienced a tech-related business disruption said it caused their companies significant damage to their reputations and permanent loss of customers.
There are several reasons why tech disruptions are becoming more common.
The nature of business has become increasingly digital, requiring more data and more IP-based transactions. IT environments also have become much more complex. Many, for example, incorporate a variety of cloud services with on-premise systems. In addition, more organizations are moving to cloud or multicloud storage environments, which can change disaster recovery, backup and IT resilience plans.
Clearly, complexity is at an all-time high, and respondents to the IDC survey believe that, as a result, their data protection requirements will become more complex as time goes on. It’s so complicated, and things have changed so much, that IDC believes half of organizations would not survive a tech-related disaster.
“Many organizations do not have properly protected and staged offsite data, have not tested the DR environment, or do not have automated DR processes as part of documentation and planning,” the report said. “The reasons for this are complex, but principal among them are typically cost, time, and training.”
Effectively preparing for an IT-related disaster today calls for something IDC calls “IT resilience.” The approach takes into account the vast amount and varied types of data organizations must store—everything from application and machine learning data to data gathered by sensors—by ensuring that it can be properly analyzed.
Automating and simplifying disaster recovery and disaster protection processes can go a long way and should be part of the IT resilience disaster recovery makeover.
“The massive continuing growth in companies' IT and data assets often makes it difficult for administrators to identify and act to curtail potential problems,” says Charles King, principal analyst of Pund-IT. “Analytics and automated tools improve IT management efficiency, and increase the likelihood of positive outcomes.”
Another way to improve IT resiliency is by moving to a cloud-based disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solution, and the IDC survey found that 24 percent of respondents plan to do just that.
“Public cloud service providers today are providing alternatives in back-up, recovery and archiving (BURA) storage solutions that used to be managed in-house and often facilitated by secondary, geographically remote company data centers,” King adds. “The cost benefits of offloading those processes to third-party cloud service providers are pretty clear, and most IT managers are likely to be happy to be rid of what for most consider time-consuming headaches.”
For many, the time to revamp disaster recovery and data protection strategies is now. According to a recent survey by 451 Group, about one-third of IT organizations plan to do so over the next year.