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Survey looks at IT continuity in industrial companies

Acronis has published further results from its Global Disaster Recovery Index. The company has been releasing information from this gradually since it was first announced a few months ago.

This information release provides information on business continuity in industrial companies (which Acronis defines as the construction and manufacturing sectors) revealing that only 53 percent of respondents were confident they could recover quickly in the event of a disaster.

The global downturn is forcing manufacturers to focus on cost reduction and ‘doing more with less.’ This could explain why nearly half (45 percent) of those surveyed cited lack of budget and IT resources as their key challenges in data recovery. One in ten (11 percent) said they spend nothing on backup and disaster recovery, and a quarter state they don't have sufficient support from their senior business executives. In a highly competitive sector where tolerance for downtime is extremely low, it's concerning that only 45 percent say they would not suffer substantial downtime in the event of a serious incident or natural disaster.

New technologies such as virtualization and the use of cloud services, which should bring efficiencies to an organization, are also bringing new challenges to IT departments. The vast majority (67 percent) of industrial firm IT managers surveyed believe their greatest challenge in a hybrid environment is moving data across physical, virtual and cloud environments. One in four (26 percent) have virtualized half or more of their production servers, and this figure is set to grow by 30 percent in the next 12 months. Despite this growth, many are putting their data at risk, with nearly 40 percent confirming they only back up virtual servers at monthly or irregular intervals.

The Security and availability concerns had previously slowed the adoption of cloud for disaster recovery. However, the Disaster Recovery Index also revealed a rising interest in cloud adoption with 94 percent predicting they will be using the cloud in some form in the next 12 months. What's more, 53 percent recognize the operational cost reductions that can be achieved, but most are not embracing the cloud for their backup strategy. Nearly a third (29 percent) stated they have no offsite backup strategy at all.

Due to this inconsistent approach, many organizations are struggling to manage their data in hybrid physical, virtual and cloud environments. Many still use multiple, disparate tools, which are likely to be spread across multiple sites, with just over a third (36 percent) managing three or more different solutions to protect their critical data. They may also be employed for diverse tasks, such as data backup, system imaging, patching, migrations and testing, which can lead to mistakes and inefficiencies.

Commenting on the findings, Seth Goodling, virtualization practice manager at Acronis said: "The pressures on the industrial sector are escalating. Manufacturers have a reputation for quality management, optimization and automation, yet it's clear that their backup and disaster recovery strategies are not keeping up with the rising adoption of virtualization and cloud technologies. With speed being a key competitive differentiation and increasing productivity being a number one priority, there is an increased intolerance for any downtime. Organizations in the industrial sector need to embrace new technology to help them consolidate and standardize their data recovery plans. In doing so, confidence levels will rise and IT managers' roles will become easier."

The survey was conducted by the Ponemon Institute across 18 countries in September and October 2011. Over 6,000 IT practitioners were surveyed in organizations with no more than 1,000 seats.

www.acronis.com

•Date: 9th May 2012 • World •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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