Data Loss is Costing Companies $1.7 TRILLION Per Year

Posted by Ben Barker on Dec 11, 2014 6:00:00 AM

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Most companies understand the importance of backing up data: Without a sufficient backup strategy in place, data loss could set a business back days, weeks, or even months.

Despite this apparent understanding, many businesses still aren't taking the necessary measures to ensure that their data is protected from disaster. Well, this metric may help push them toward taking those measures: Data loss and downtime is costing companies $1.7 trillion per year.

The Issues

Preparedness

As Cheryl Kemp mentions in her recent article on The Whir, companies have lost 400% more data over the past two years when compared to previous years. Why? EMC's Global Data Protection Index, which was released early last week, shows that IT professionals simply aren't prepared to evolve with new, growing categories of data.

In fact, 64% of those who took the survey reported experiencing some form of data loss or downtime in the past year. This increase in data loss is the reason for the jaw-dropping $1.7 trillion in losses.

Big data, hybrid cloud, and mobile data are among the categories that business are simply not prepared to protect. In fact, of those surveyed by EMC's report, only 6% had protection plans in place for these growing categories of data. 

Inadequate Recovery Strategies

The overarching issue rooted in the EMC report isn't the amount of data that is being compromised, it's the lack of confidence and preparedness in data recovery strategies. Of the 64% of surveyed businesses that reported data loss, 36% reported revenue loss as a result.

With a solid backup strategy in place, a loss of data could be resolved as simply as running a restore of an incremental backup from just minutes before the disaster struck. However, many businesses aren't using adequate backup solutions, meaning that this kind of recovery is just not possible. 

Multiple Data Protection Vendors

Most companies reported using more than one data protection vendor. While it seems like this would mean companies are doing more to protect their data, in fact, companies who used more than one vendor had 14% more data loss than those who had a single strategy in place. 

Not only are these companies losing data at a higher rate, but they are spending and losing money at a MUCH higher rate as a result of increased downtime. Companies who use more than one vendor are spending 8.91% of the annual IT budget on data protection. This is compared to the 7.04% that companies using one vendor spend.

Additionally, companies using three or more vendors lost an average of $1.66 million as a result of unplanned downtime. That's almost five times more than companies who used a single vendor reported losing. 

The Solutions

Continuous Data Protection

Continuous data protection can serve as an incredible method of protecting your data, decreasing downtime, and saving money. Still, only 25% of companies in the EMC report were backing up their data continuously. Additionally, only 5% reported that they backed up all of their data continuously. Continuous data protection allows you to backup only the information that has been changed or created since your last backup. That means that if something goes wrong, you'll only have to revert to your last backup. With continuous data protection, you're able to run backups as frequently as every 20 minutes. 

Educate Yourself

Although most companies expressed an understanding that data protection was important, 37% of those surveyed by EMC still felt as though data protection was either not critical, or had no role in the organization's success. This kind of a mindset is simply unacceptable in this day and age. We're living in a world that is creating data an unbelievable rate. Businesses need to do their due diligence in educating themselves about the repercussions of not having a data protections solution in place. 

Use a Single Data Protection Vendor

As mentioned previously, most companies reported using two or more vendors to backup and protect their data. Most of the time, more than one vendor is used as a result of companies' end users being on both Windows and Linux. Many data protection vendors offer protection of one or the other, but there are solutions available that cover both. Seeking out and taking advantage of these solutions is a great was to not only cut costs, but to sleep easier knowing that your data is protected and easily restored if a disaster were to strike. 

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