Data Protection isn’t Getting the Attention or Resources it Deserves

Backup and disaster recovery are among the most heavily studied and surveyed IT functions. Every month, a report or two is released by one or more research houses or vendors, and given the wealth of data, it’s easy to say, “Ah, well, there’s another one,” and ignore them. But taken all together, there’s a lot of interesting information about the state of data protection in 2020 and what will continue on into 2021.

For starters, OwnBackup uncovered some interesting findings about Salesforce data protection: 69% of the companies they surveyed either know they are not prepared or are unsure of how well prepared they are for data loss or corruption. 

That certainly tracks with our experience. We find that many organizations don’t realize software as a service (SaaS) applications such as Microsoft 365 need to be backed up and that they can’t depend on Microsoft to do it for them automatically. Like most SaaS companies, Microsoft operates on a shared responsibility model — they protect the infrastructure, but your data is your responsibility. So if you accidentally delete an important file, for example, if you don’t pull it out of the trash within 30 days, it’s gone forever.

Underpowered backup and disaster recovery

Chief Privacy Officer Magazine’s 2020 Data Protection and Privacy Officer Priorities 2020 Report validated something else we’ve definitely seen anecdotally in the market: backup and disaster recovery (DR) teams are underpowered. 

The publication surveyed a range of companies, overall skewing fairly large. Almost two-thirds had more than 1,000 employees and 31% had more than 10,000. Even so, 57% of organizations had an annual budget for data protection and privacy of no more than $250,000 and 27% said that their group’s biggest challenge regarding data protection was getting budget and resources. More than three quarters had no more than ten people focused on this area, which may sound like a lot to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs,) but remember, the vast majority of organizations surveyed were on the larger side.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to understand why backup and DR are under-resourced. It’s insurance, and the executive team would rather see money go to functions that will drive growth. Of course, the tail risk of underinvesting in data protection is enormous and includes an organization’s inability to do business at all for an extended period. So it’s best to make sure your backup and DR functions are strong enough to protect the business when it counts.

Reliability is key

Veeam is well-known for its annual data protection study. Last year’s edition, Data Protection Trends Report for 2020, was as comprehensive and well-designed as expected. They surveyed 1,550 enterprises from across the globe, each with more than 1,000 employees, so their findings carry a lot of weight. 

One of its primary findings was that reliability is the No. 1 reason an organization would change its primary backup solution. Following close behind to round out the top three were “reducing hardware costs” and “improving return on investment and total cost of ownership.”

We hear this all the time from customers, which is why they’ve decided to enlist our expertise for their backup and DR needs. OffsiteDataSync’s infrastructure is optimized for exactly this purpose and our engineers are laser-focused on data protection. Where an IT pro may conduct one complete DR failover during their entire career, our engineers do several every year. So naturally, we can be more reliable and efficient than an in-house operation, especially since it’s likely to lack funds and resources, as noted above.

Dangerously delinquent in DR testing

Last year, Disaster Recovery Journal teamed up with Forrester to produce the State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness 2020 report. And, to us, the findings that really stood out were these: 1 in 5 organizations complete a full DR simulation test less than once per year or not at all, and almost the same portion update their DR plans every two years or longer.

These were large companies that Forrester surveyed: 86% had more than 1,000 employees and 21% had more than 20,000. Their IT infrastructure can change a great deal in a year, never mind two or more years. Without updating and testing the plan, it’s all but guaranteed to fail in the event of a true disaster.

If you see your own organization in any of these trends, get in touch! We’d love to discuss how our experts can protect your data and applications so you can get a good night of worry-free sleep.