By GABEY GOHbytz@thestar.com.my
PETALING JAYA: Not enough attention is being paid by enterprises to disaster recovery, according to a new survey by EMC.
The survey, which included responses from 250 IT decision makers from private and public sectors in Malaysia, found that 87% of local organisations are not very confident that they can fully recover after a disaster.
Managing director of EMC Malaysia Cheam Tan Inn was reluctant to categorise this lack of focus by local companies as "being complacent" but pointed out that other areas such as access management and hardware typically take precedence.
"It could be due to the country's lack of natural disasters that has put disaster recovery lower on the list of priorities," he said.
He added that there is evidence the trend is slowly shifting, as enterprise risk management becomes a big area of concern for companies.
"So it is timely to look into disaster recovery, which is a crucial component of risk management along with processes, people and resource management," he added.
According to Shane Moore, director of marketing, Asia Pacific and Japan for EMC Backup Recovery Systems, systems failure resulted on average in two lost working days for the Malaysian businesses that participated in the survey.
Based on an average eight-hour working day, this is the equivalent of 32,000 man-hours for a Malaysian company employing about 2,000 employees.
Additionally, each organisation lost an average of 1099GB of data during a 12 month period, the equivalent of losing 27.5 million e-mail messages.
However on average, the research found that 47% of businesses across Malaysia are spending 9.54% of their IT budgets on backup and recovery, which is higher than the regional percentage (39%) of companies in South-East Asia that spend the same or more.
"Which raises the question of how wisely the allocated budget is being spent on proper disaster recovery tools," Moore said.
Part of the problem stems from reliance on costlier, outdated solutions, with 43% of Malaysian companies still depending on tape and 35% still using CD-ROM for backup and recovery, according to the survey.
The survey also showed that the causes of systems downtime are often the commonplace disruptions to IT, such as hardware failure (51%), data corruption (51%) and loss of power (50%), rather than natural disasters or other major incidents.
"Preparedness for routine disruption or more significant incidents starts with a next-generation backup approach that leverages disk with data de-duplication and network based replication technologies," said Moore.
According to him, by establishing a well thought-out and strategic approach to backup and recovery that utilises the next-generation solutions available today, will enable businesses to withstand serious incidents, while reducing the total cost of ownership of their backup systems.
"Organisations need to proactively review their own strategies for backup and recovery, with a need for management discipline to ensure they are prepared. As the data explosion continues, the trend of business loss tied to data loss rather than technical issues is sure to go up," said Cheam.
"What we have right now is many IT departments just backing up their data regularly and praying that they will never need to restore it because they're not sure if it'll work," he added.
Commissioned by EMC and conducted by independent research company Vanson Bourne, The Disaster Recovery Survey 2012: Asia Pacific and Japan polled 2,500 companies in the region.
It looked at the state of backup and disaster recovery, to understand how well companies are prepared for data loss and systems downtime.
To read the full report, go to http://bit.ly/JbX3U6.